Grading all 12 trades the Mariners and Jerry Dipoto made during the 2023-24 offseason

Discover the Seattle Mariners' offseason trades, including franchise-altering moves and surprising deals. Are they better in 2024? Find out now!
Minnesota Twins v Seattle Mariners
Minnesota Twins v Seattle Mariners / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
3 of 6

6. 12/3/2023 - Mariners send LHP Marco Gonzales, OF Jarred Kelenic and 1B Evan White to the Atlanta Braves for RHP Cole Phillips and RHP Jackson Kowar

We here at SoDo Mojo have covered this trade extensively, and I still feel the same today about this trade as the day it happened, just without that shock value. Kelenic was a lot of things as a Mariner: A Franchise savior, a bust, a disappointment, a spark plug, a crybaby... I could go on and on. His ceiling was still so incredibly high, and the tantalizing nature of his game still has me wishing he was here. And they gave him away to one of the best teas in all of baseball in a salary dump.

I am not saying Kelenic's value was at an all-time high, either. He missed a good portion, a key portion, of the season from a broken foot he got from kicking a freaking water cooler. The guy was sometimes a head case. But he fought hard every single day for this team, only to be traded for Jackson freaking Kowar. A guy with more earned runs given up than innings pitched. 76 runs in 75 innings. Give me a freaking break.

Moving Gonzales and White was necesary this offseason, given the restrains put on the front office from ownership. Are the Mariners able to sign Mitch Garver, or trade for Jorge Polanco without this move being done? Probably not. Will this trade come back to bite the Mariners? Probably. The Braves ended up releasing both Marco Gonzales and Evan White, and plan on playing Kelenic everyday in left field. WIth all of this being said, I give this trade a D-. The only reason it is not an F is because they moved out from Gonzales and White's contracts, but when Kelenic wins the MVP in 3 years I might cry.

7. 1/5/2024 - Mariners send LHP Robbie Ray to the San Francisco Giants for OF Mitch Haniger and RHP Anthony DeSclafani

This was the first of 2 shocking trades the Mariners pulled off back in January. Mariners fans, including myself, were caught completely off guard by the Mariners moving on from Ray, who missed most of 2023 with Tommy John surgery. Ray will not be ready to go until July at the soonest, so it was not like he would have helped the team much this season.

So they got Mitch Haniger back, an obvious fan favorite. Haniger was here from 2017-2022 when he left in free agency and signed a 3YR/$43.5M deal with the San Francisco GIants before the 2023 season. Mitch was hampered with injuries in his lone season with the Giants and struggled when he did actually play. His strikeouts were high (28.4%) and his walk rate went down (6.6%). Do we chalk his poor performance to injury in 2023? Sure, you can make that argument. The days of him playing 157 games again are gone, but hopefully, he can still be great when he does play for the Mariners this season.

Anthony DeSclafani was only part of this deal to help even out the money owed to the players, and Desco was eventually traded to the Minnesota Twins. He did not have a role for the Mariners, barring injury. He had injury issues of his own in 2023, so it is not like he would have been starting 32 games for the Mariners.

Overall, I give this trade a B+. Mitch Haniger for Robbie Ray seems wild on paper, but Ray just did not fit well here. He was reduced to a bullpen role for the Playoffs in 2022, then blew his elbow out in 2023. He was fine for the Mariners in the 2022 regular season, but he did not live up to his contract. Haniger is a favorite, and if he could get some of his 2021 back when he got MVP votes, the Mariners win this trade.