The Seattle Mariners acquired Jose Caballero from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the trade deadline in 2019 for Mike Leake. Cabellero made his debut for the Mariners on April 19 of the 2023 season and played in 104 games for the Mariners this season.
Jose Cabellero was not expected to be a contributor for the Mariners when Jerry Dipoto was building this team last offseason. But with a strong showing in spring training and and a good start with Tacoma he played his way onto the 26-man roster when Sam Haggerty was banged up.
Jose Caballero earned a grade of a B+ for the 2023 season.
Caballero played that utility role that the Mariners love so much. He spent time at second base, shortstop, third base, and even played left field for the Mariners this season. Caballero's first half of the season was great for a rookie. He had a slash line of .233/.361/.343. In the first half he had 3 home runs, 21 runs scored, 20 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases. Caballero's second half was a different story, with the addition of Rojas and the return of Moore he didn't get as much playing time. His slash line for the second half was .200/.310/.282, with 1 homerun, 16 runs, 6 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases. He cooled off immensely in the second half.
I gave Caballero a B+ because, for a rookie who wasn't even expected to be on the team in 2023, he did some good things. As a rookie, he produced a 2.4 WAR season. He had an above-average walk rate of 10%, he caused chaos for other pitchers with the pitch clock and stole 26 out of 29 bases. He also was able to be that swiss army knife utility player that the Mariners like. I am excited to see if he can build on 2023 in 2024.