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
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
4 of 6
Next

8. 1/5/2024 - Mariners send INF Jose Caballero to the Tampa Bay Rays for 1B/OF Luke Raley

January 5th was such an exciting day. First came the news of the Robbie Ray trade, then, what, 15 minutes later came the news of this trade. I understand if people had to look up Luke Raley's name and stats before you could react to this trade. While Luke Raley is not a household name quite yet, Mariners fans should be thrilled with this move.

According to a friend of mine, who is in the know with the Tampa Bay Rays, Luke Raley might be one of the most underrated players in the game. He has taken the "Mitch Haniger" path to the Majors, as he is somewhat of a late bloomer. His first "full" season was in 2023 with the Rays, where he earned 2.8 bWAR in just 118 games. He hit .249/.333/.490/.824 with a 126 OPS+ (100 being league average). He does strikeout at a high clip (32.2% career K%), which may be his only knock.

I know that Cabby was a fan favorite for Mariners fans. He took his walks, he got plunked a lot, and he sure made a lot of people mad. But he did not do enough at the plate to warrant being an everyday starter, and that is exactly what the Mariners needed. Cabby now gets the chance to be the starting shortstop for the Rays, and we wish him all the best.

I give this trade an A-. Raley has the chance to be a difference-maker for the Mariners, something Jose Caballero just couldn't be. Even if Raley does not take the steps forward needed to be great, the Mariners took a chance on a guy without giving up top prospect talent. These are the kinds of moves that give length to the lineup, and I am here for that.