5. Mariners trade Chris Taylor for Zach Lee
Jerry Dipoto‘s worst move as Seattle Mariners GM finds its way onto our list, and for good reason. Thankfully, this was a rare miss for Dipoto and is the only entry on our list, but man, was it a doozy or what?
When Dipoto traded away Taylor on June 19th of 2016, the deal was a bit of a headscratcher. Taylor was one of the best prospects in a bad system and had actually gotten some 250 PAs at the big league level. He was athletic and versatile and was just 25-years-old. This is the type of player Dipoto typically tries to acquire, not trade away.
But almost immediately after leaving Seattle, Taylor blossomed into one of the finest utility players in the league. Over the past 3 seasons, Taylor has slashed .268/.340/.468 with 98 doubles, 17 triples, and 50 home runs. This, in addition to his average or better defense at 5 positions, has helped Taylor produce a 10.1 bWAR in 3+ seasons in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Zach Lee never pitched for the Mariners and hasn’t appeared in a major league game since 2017. Lee was fighting for a spot in the Oakland A’s bullpen this spring but was on the outside looking in.
In Dipoto’s defense, nobody thought Taylor would evolve into the player he did. But at the end of the day, the Mariners couldn’t reach Taylor like the Dodgers could and Seattle gave up a potential everyday shortstop for AAA filler who was with the organization for 3 months. And to his credit, Dipoto wears this trade as one of the worst he’s ever made.