Mariners Trades: Who Won the Mitch Haniger-Ketel Marte Trade

SEATTLE, WA - MAY 26: Jean Segura #2 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by Mitch Haniger #17 after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field on May 26, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - MAY 26: Jean Segura #2 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by Mitch Haniger #17 after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Safeco Field on May 26, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

Back in November of 2016, Jerry Dipoto made one of the most important trades in his tenure with the Mariners. Dipoto made a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks to try to get the team over the hump, end the drought, and get into the playoffs. Dipoto was trying to add to the core of Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, and Nelson Cruz. The Mariners acquired two players in the trade who ultimately would be key contributors for them for multiple years.

Here is the trade between the Mariners and the Diamondbacks

On the Mariners side of things, they got two players who made All-Star teams for them. Both Mitch Haniger and Jean Segura were sent to the 2018 All-Star Game, and both have been productive for the Mariners during their time with the team. Segura only played in two seasons for the Mariners before getting traded himself, but in his two years, he was quite good. He put up two 3.7 WAR seasons and was above average offensively and was about average defensively at shortstop.

Segura signed a 5 year $70 million contract extension during the 2017 season with the Mariners. He seemed to be a pretty good guy for the Mariners to have around, but there were reported clubhouse fights that soured the Mariners on him. He was traded at the start of the Mariners rebuild before the 2018 season. Segura along with Juan Nicasio and James Pazos were sent to the Phillies for J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana.

As for Mitch Haniger, he is still with the Mariners and he has had some big moments with the team. He had a career year in 2018 when he put up a 4.5 WAR season and had a 137 wRC+. He has only played over 100 games twice and has had some pretty serious injuries. He missed all of the shortened 2020 season, but he came back with a career-high 39 homer season last year. He should continue to be a stud for the Mariners as he goes into the final year of his contract.

The Mariners may be open to an extension, but probably not a long one for a 31-year-old, but a short-term one could be a possibility. He could also play 2023 on the qualifying offer if it still exists in the next C.B.A. The Mariners also got left-handed pitcher Zac Curtis who appeared in 3 games in 2017 before being claimed off waivers by the Phillies and has not pitched in the big leagues since 2018.

The Mariners are clearly winners in this deal because they got really good production from Segura and Haniger and could continue to get more for Haniger. They also were able to turn Segura into J.P. Crawford who is now their leader and a Gold Glove at shortstop. They also wheeled and dealt players into getting Juan Then in their organization from players in the Segura trade. The Mariners got lots of value back in this deal, so they did not lose, but the D-Backs did good as well.

For the Diamondbacks, they got a really solid first year from Taijuan Walker. Walker had an ERA of 3.49 and a FIP of 4.04. Those are pretty solid numbers through his 28 games that year. Then he only made three starts in 2018 and one start in 2019 due to having Tommy John surgery. Walker was promising for Arizona but ultimately didn’t pan out due to having so many injuries. The real prize of the deal for them was Ketel Marte.

Marte had a really nice rookie debut for the Mariners in 2015, playing in 57 games with some good numbers and showing promise. However, he had a subpar 2016 where he got more playing time and the Mariners were trying to win with Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, and Nelson Cruz. He was sent as a young player with some promise, but he needed some work. He had about an average first two years, finally playing a whole season in 2017.

2019 was a huge year for Marte, he made the All-Star team and finished fourth in MVP voting. He slashed .329/.389/.592. That is an incredible slash line and he had a great year. He had a 6.9 WAR year, hit 32 home runs, and hit 36 doubles. He had the single best year by far of anyone in this trade. He followed this platform season up with a disappointing shortened season in 2020.

Marte had a return to form in limited playing time due to injuries last year. He was limited to only 90 games last year and he only posted a 1.8 WAR. The Diamondbacks are thrilled with the development of Marte, he started to play some center field and got stronger. That helped him have such a standout 2019 season.

Arizona signed him to an extension before the 2018 season, the deal paid him less early, but will only make 8,10, and 12 million dollars the next three years. There are 2023 and 2024 club options that pay him the $10 and $12 million, but those will certainly be picked up. The D-Backs could also trade Marte for a haul if they want to get a better farm system and fully rebuild.

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This deal really turned out to be a win-win for both sides. The Mariners got lots of production that has been spread out over multiple players over time. The Diamondbacks got one huge year and some other solid years from their side of the deal. The Mariners did not lose because Marte had a huge 2019, and the D-Backs did not lose because Haniger and Segura have been really good players. Both sides won in different ways and it has benefited the Mariners greatly.