The Seattle Mariners All-Dipoto Acquisition Team: Relief Pitchers

ST PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 07: Alex Colome #48 and David Freitas #36 of the Seattle Mariners celebrate winning a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 7, 2018 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 07: Alex Colome #48 and David Freitas #36 of the Seattle Mariners celebrate winning a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 7, 2018 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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BALTIMORE, MD – JUNE 27: James Pazos #47 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 27, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD – JUNE 27: James Pazos #47 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 27, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

LHP JAMES PAZOS

Jerry Dipoto has made a ton of low risk, high reward trades that have flown completely under the radar and quite a few of them have panned out rather nicely. Acquiring James Pazos from the New York Yankees for pitcher Zack Littell is one of those deals.

Despite only logging 8.1 career innings pitched before arriving in Seattle, Pazos assumed a pretty hefty role during his time with the Mariners. The southpaw appeared in 119 games over two seasons, notching 103.2 innings while averaging a little over a strikeout per inning.

While opposing left-handed hitters have posted a modest .255/.327/.365 slash line against Pazos in his career, he’s far from a LOOGY. Righties have put up relatively similar numbers against him, slashing .244/.327/.399 in 310 matchups. Pazos would likely be leaned on more for a stretch of tough lefty hitters on this roster, but we certainly wouldn’t be afraid to put him in most situations given his track record.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 16: Steve Cishek #31 of the Seattle Mariners in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 16, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Seattle Mariners defeated the New York Yankees 3-2. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 16: Steve Cishek #31 of the Seattle Mariners in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 16, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Seattle Mariners defeated the New York Yankees 3-2. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

RHP STEVE CISHEK

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Mariners fan who thinks back on Steve Cishek’s time in Seattle fondly. It’s hard not to immediately think of the seven blown saves in 2016, particularly one that occurred on Sunday Night Baseball in a late July game at Wrigley Field. But when you finally work through those emotions, you’ll come to find that Cishek was pretty damn solid more often than not with the Mariners.

For as good as Dipoto has been at trading for relievers, signing them has been a bit of a struggle. Cishek is one of the few exceptions, putting up a 9.75 K/9 and 2.89 ERA over the span of 84 innings in his year-and-a-half with Seattle. In the month of September 2016, Cishek didn’t allow a single run in 13 appearances, and had another similar stretch earlier on in the year.

He was incredibly streaky, as most relievers are. But it was either a stretch of shakiness or an even longer stretch of pure dominance for Cishek. When he was on, he was really on, and more often than not. Unfortunately, his reputation amongst Mariners fans has been muddied by the few hiccups mixed in there, which admittedly do stand out, even for me, but ultimately shouldn’t tarnish an otherwise fantastic run in the Emerald City.

ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 22: Nick Vincent #50 of the Seattle Mariners pitches agaisnt the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 22, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 22: Nick Vincent #50 of the Seattle Mariners pitches agaisnt the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 22, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

RHP NICK VINCENT

Like the Pazos trade, Dipoto’s late Spring Training acquisition of Nick Vincent from the San Diego Padres (for cash!) is one of his better deals that no one talks about. Vincent had already established a fine career in San Diego, so being able to pry him away for as little as Dipoto did is something to be applauded for in and of itself, but what the righty did once he got to Seattle made the deal that much sweeter.

Vincent never lit up the radar gun but was incredibly deceptive in his time with the Mariners, averaging over a strikeout an inning in his first season with the team and nearly doing so again in his third and final year with them. More importantly, he was dependable and durable, throwing 55+ innings in all three years with a high of 64.2 in 2017—his best season as a Mariner, in which he put up 1.7 fWAR with a 2.82 FIP.

Vincent and his iconic goatee fulfilled every bullpen role under the sun, including being one of the first relievers the Mariners used as an opener in 2018. He also earned three saves in 2016 and accumulated 61 holds from the start of his Seattle tenure to the end, posting a top-50 WHIP (1.15) amongst all qualified MLB relievers over that time.

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