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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PHOENIX, AZ – AUGUST 25: Edwin Diaz #39 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his 50th save of the year in a 4-3 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 25, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. All players across MLB will wear nicknames on their backs as well as colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms during Players Weekend. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ – AUGUST 25: Edwin Diaz #39 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his 50th save of the year in a 4-3 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 25, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. All players across MLB will wear nicknames on their backs as well as colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms during Players Weekend. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

RHP EDWIN DÍAZ

Yes, this is the All-Dipoto Acquisition team, and Jerry Dipoto certainly did not acquire Edwin Díaz. That would be Jack Zduriencik, who drafted Díaz in the third-round of the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft. That’s what brings us to the caveat I mentioned at the top of the article.

While Zduriencik brought Díaz to Seattle, it was Dipoto who helped turn Díaz into what he is now: one of the elite relievers in today’s game, despite a rough season in his first year with the Mets in 2019.

Under Zduriencik, Díaz was on a much different path as a starting pitcher, and while he had some success in the lower levels of minor league ball, the lack of development of a tertiary pitch and so-so command was going to hinder his ability to be anything more than a raw arm at the back of someone’s rotation.

Dipoto and company quickly pumped the brakes on Díaz’s aspirations as a starter and, in one of his earliest critical executive decisions as the Mariners’ general manager, converted him into a reliever to fast-track him to MLB action. Díaz appeared in just 16 Double-A games in 2016 before being called up to the bigs and having his feet put to the fire.

The young Díaz accepted the challenge and faced it head on, putting his electricity on full display from the jump and almost immediately securing the team’s full-time closer role. From that point forward, he never looked back and went on to have one of the greatest seasons of any reliever in MLB history in 2018, saving 57 games with a 15.22 K/9, 1.96 ERA, and 3.5 fWAR.

Related Story. The All-Dipoto Acquisition Team: Starting Pitchers. light

Dipoto may not have acquired him, but the impact he had on Díaz’s career cannot go unnoticed and it was impossible to leave him off this roster as the two feel synonymous with one another.

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