1. Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte for Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger
We all saw this one coming. But just because it is obvious, doesn’t mean its not the right choice. In what was arguably Dipoto’s biggest risk before last winter, he traded a solid #4 starter with upside and a young, controllable athlete for Jean Segura and some dude coming off a big year in AAA named Mitch Haniger.
Now Arizona didn’t do terribly in this trade, but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great deal for Seattle. Let’s start with Mitch Haniger, who is entering his 2nd full season with Seattle, flashed for the Mariners right away in 2017, slashing .282/.352/.491 in 96 games.
Haniger came back healthy in 2018 and slashed .285/.366/.493 on the way to his first all-star appearance and finished 11th in the AL MVP vote. Haniger has become the face of the franchise and will be a bargain for another 4-years before he becomes a free agent.
The Mariners thought so highly of Haniger that they never seriously considered trading him this off-season, despite the teams desire to start a rebuild. Instead, they are building their entire rebuild around him.
Even the acquisition of Jean Segura was a success. In his two seasons with Seattle, Segura hit .302/.345/.421, made an all-star team, posted a combined 7.6 bWAR, and brought more value back to Seattle this winter when he was traded to Philly for J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana.
Santana has since been flipped for Edwin Encarnacion and the 76th overall pick. Encarnacion will likely be flipped later this year, so the final tentacles of this deal are still unknown. But Dipoto acquired 2 players who would each make an All-Star team and have posted a combined 18.0 bWAR. Haniger still has 3+ seasons to add to this deal.
It was seen as a risky deal for Dipoto, but he pulled the trigger and the Mariners and their fans have reaped the rewards.
We still don’t know if Dipoto is a great general manager. But we seem to have enough of a sample size to know that he isn’t terrible and could be great. When you make as many deals as Dipoto, you are going to get criticized. You’ll win some and you’ll lose some deals.
But Dipoto isn’t going to suddenly stop making deals. That makes this topic one worth repeating. New deals will find their way onto our list, while old deals will fall off. But one thing is for certain: Jerry Dipoto has made his share of great deals as the GM of the Mariners.