“All-Dipoto Acquisition Team” Mariners edition: Starting Pitching

SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 11: Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto watches batting practice before a game between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on June 11, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Rangers won the game 2-1 in eleven innings. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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Wade LeBlanc

TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 16: Wade LeBlanc #49 of the Seattle Mariners leaves the field in the middle of the eighth inning during an MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 16, 2019, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – AUGUST 16: Wade LeBlanc #49 of the Seattle Mariners leaves the field in the middle of the eighth inning during an MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on August 16, 2019, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

Acquired via trade from Toronto Blue Jays for cash on June 22, 2016, then signed as a free agent on March 25, 2018.

Good old Wade LeBlanc is one of the players Jerry Dipoto has acquired twice. First from the Toronto Blue Jays in a small-time trade in 2016. LeBlanc wasn’t too bad for the Mariners in 2016, posting a 4.50 ERA in 50 innings before he was traded to the Pirates in September of that same season.

But Dipoto was always interested in LeBlanc and after the Yankees released him late in the spring of 2018, Dipoto would snap up the veteran free agent just 3 days later. LeBlanc was a revelation in 2018, posting a 2.5 bWAR in 162 innings. His 3.72 ERA and 4.28 FIP were also solid and LeBlanc looked like a solid, #4 starter.

LeBlanc also served as a mentor to Marco Gonzales and the two developed a friendship that developed a cult following amongst Mariners’ fans. LeBlanc couldn’t continue the good vibes in 2019 and struggled following an injury early in the season, cutting his time in Seattle short.

LeBlanc slides into the #3 spot in the rotation for now but should be expected to be removed from any such team as Dipoto’s young hoard of pitching prospects inch their way closer to the big leagues. But for now, LeBlanc in the middle of our rotation is a nice placeholder as we wait for the likes of George Kirby, Isaiah Campbell, Justus Sheffield, and Brandon Williamson to become more established in the organization.

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