The Mariners went into full-fledged rebuild mode last winter, making final judgment’s off those trades are years away. But what if we had to grade them based solely on 2019 production.
This is our third Mariners deal we have looked at through this odd and ultimately narrow lens, and the results early on have been quite surprising. First, we established that the Mariners actually got the better end of the Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano deal in 2019 (adding insult to injury). Second, we saw that the Mariners dominated the Alex Colome and Omar Narvaez trade.
So in a few deals that are geared more towards the future than 2019, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto actually did both. So today, we take a look at the third trade we are covering and this was perhaps the most controversial deal of the entire off-season.
We are, of course, talking about the deal that sent Jean Segura, Juan Nicasio, and James Pazos to the Philadelphia Phillies for J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana. Now, the deal was a bit more complicated than that, so let’s set our parameters.
First, we are only considering what each player did for the Phillies and Mariners. Nicasio and Pazos finished 2019 elsewhere, so only their numbers with the Phillies will be considered.
Second, Carlos Santana never suited up for the Mariners and was moved in a separate deal to the Cleveland Indians for Edwin Encarnacion. Instead of grading out the Santana for Encarnacion swap, we are just going to wrap Encarnacion into this deal. But remember, only Encarnacion’s time with the Mariners will be a factor here.
With all that in mind, let’s get started by looking at the production on the Phillies side of the deal. The big name in this deal was Jean Segura, who had a bit of an up and down season in 2019 but finished with a decent .280/.323/.420 slash line. The up and down nature of the year took its toll on his value and he finished the year with a 1.3 bWAR.
Nicasio failed to live up to expectations again, but the underlying numbers are a bit better than the basic numbers would suggest. Still, the year wasn’t his best and he finished with a mediocre 0.1 bWAR, bringing the Phillies total to 1.4.
Finally, we reach James Pazos who never threw a pitch for the Phillies and was traded for a minor leaguer in late April. The minor leaguer didn’t reach the big leagues in 2019, so the Phillies’ final take in this deal was 1.4 bWAR.
Now, for the Mariners side of things. J.P. Crawford’s final line wasn’t great, but he did battle through two separate leg injuries and was still able to show that he is an everyday player at this level. He ended 2019 with a respectable 0.9 bWAR in 93 games.
Finally, we reach Edwin Encarnacion, who appeared in just 65 games for the Mariners before he was dealt to the Yankees for Juan Then. But in those 65 games, Encarnacion did work, posting a 2.1 bWAR, bringing the Mariners total to 3.0 bWAR.
This means that once again, a deal Dipoto made for the future actually added more wins than it lost, in this case up to 1and a half wins to be precise.
Now keep in mind, our methodology is flawed. Both teams are perfectly happy and if I was a Phillies fan, I could just as easily talk about this deal as a win for 2019. But this is a Mariners website, so we decided to take the route we did and we will try and remain consistent throughout this series.
If you are a fan of fWAR over bWAR, Segura finished with a 2.3 fWAR and Nicasio was worth 0.5 fWAR, while Crawford was worth 1.3 fWAR and Encarnacion was worth 1.6 fWAR. So much closer, but still a slight edge for Seattle.
As weird as it sounds, 3 of Dipoto’s rebuilding trades made the team better in 2019 than they would have been otherwise. We can acknowledge the flaws in our methodology, but we are being consistent and based on our criteria, Dipoto is 3 for 3.