While we all wait for the return of Mariners baseball, we have an opportunity to reflect on some of the franchises’ rich history. Today, we see how Jerry Dipoto‘s best trade may become the best in franchise history.
What are the 10 best trades in Seattle Mariners history? Well, what they are, first and foremost, are entirely subjective. While we can add together the numbers and find the statistically best trade, we won’t be doing that in this series. Instead, we will be blending our statistical analysis with several x-factors, including what the deal meant for the team at one time.
Remember, winning trade is good. But even an inconclusive trade or one that both sides benefit from isn’t bad. The goal isn’t to win every trade, the goal is to win games and to improve your team to help you win as many games as possible. Basically, a trade doesn’t have to be a disaster for one team for that trade to be considered for this list.
As I said, we won’t be laser-focused on the WAR outcomes (though those are part of our analysis), but rather what the trade brought the team in return. With that in mind, let’s reveal the 6th best trade-in Mariners’ history.
Mariners trade Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano, & cash to NY Mets for Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Gerson Bautista, Jay Bruce, and Anthony Swarzak
This is sure to generate some controversy. How can a trade rank in the Top 6 of a franchise when the biggest pieces coming to that franchise have a total of 4 appearances in the big leagues? Well, statistically speaking, it can’t. But on a higher level, it absolutely should be.
GM Jerry Dipoto cashed in on an all-time great season from a closer who has never come close to repeating that success in 3 of his 4 seasons and attached half of a mega-contract for an aging former superstar and managed to get a superstar. At least, we think so. Trading Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano for Jarred Kelenic straight up is an impressive trade. But Dipoto wasn’t done. He also landed another top prospect who could settle in as a #3 starter or become the long-term replacement for Diaz in the form of Justin Dunn.
For good measure, Dipoto also acquired a flamethrowing reliever with a solid slider and a couple of veteran lottery tickets all while managing to save more than $50 million in the process. So why would I wait to crown this an all-time great trade?
Even if Kelenic and Dunn only hit their floor, they’ll be worth at least 4 WAR a season for the next 6 years. If both hit their ceilings, they could be worth between 8-10 WAR total per season for the next 6 years. Did I mention that they also saved more than $50 million in future payroll allocations for his hard work?
So let’s get this straight: the Mariners turned 3-years of worth roughly 180 good innings from a great reliever and more than $50 million of a contract for a 35-year-old second baseman and got at least one potential superstar out of the deal? Excuse me for not holding off on my celebration.
Technically speaking, yes, this deal has no statistical evidence supporting that the Mariners came out in front. But let me tell you, I am all in. Take out the chisel and etch this in stone, “this is will be one of the 5 best trades in the history of the Mariners”. Take it to the bank and cash it in.