All-Dipoto Acquisition Team, Mariners Edition: Infield

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jean Segura #2 of the Seattle Mariners takes a swing during an at-bat in a game against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field on September 29, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won the game 4-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 29: Jean Segura #2 of the Seattle Mariners takes a swing during an at-bat in a game against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field on September 29, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. The Mariners won the game 4-1. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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Second Base: Tim Lopes

PEORIA, AZ – FEBRUARY 20: Tim Lopes #10 of the Seattle Mariners poses during the Seattle Mariners Photo Day on February 20, 2020, in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
PEORIA, AZ – FEBRUARY 20: Tim Lopes #10 of the Seattle Mariners poses during the Seattle Mariners Photo Day on February 20, 2020, in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /

This is probably the most shocking selection if I had to guess. I’m sure most of you were expecting to see Dee Gordon in this spot and right up until the end, we did have Gordon penciled in here. But when you really look at Gordon’s tenure with the Mariners, it just hasn’t been a good one. To put Dee on this team would be factoring in his time in Miami, and we just can’t do that.

And Robinson Cano is ineligible for the list, so we can’t choose him. There was a pretty good debate between Lopes, Gordon, and Shed Long. We even toyed with Segura at second and Long at third. But ultimately, we had to pick one guy and we went with the most athletic of the group, Tim Lopes.

What is interesting about Lopes’s inclusion on this list is that he was actually traded away by Dipoto and then re-acquired a year later which technically makes him eligible for the list. On top of the issues with Gordon, Lopes was also really good in 2019, posting a 0.9 bWAR in just 41 games while slashing .270/.359/.360 and stealing 6 bases.

Lopes also brings us a lot of versatility. He can play second base, shortstop, and the outfield. In fact, for hardly playing any outfield in the minor leagues, Lopes was quite good in LF for the Mariners in 2019. Lopes was on track to be the utility man on Opening Day 2020 before the shutdown and was absolutely killing it at spring training.

Lopes has big-time speed and his sprint speed ranked in the 85th percentile last season. With a good glove up the middle, positional flexibility, great speed, and ability to take walks, make consistent contact, and steal bases, Lopes is everything Gordon was supposed to be for the Mariners.

And there is the true difference between Gordon and Lopes and why Lopes ultimately got the nod. Lopes produced and Gordon didn’t. And if you’re worried about Lopes as a starting second baseman, wait until you see what we did with the bench before you decide how we did. But now, let’s move on to first base.

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