Jerry Dipoto Trades That Reshaped the Seattle Mariners

Jerry Dipoto

Jerry Dipoto served as the manager of the Seattle Mariners from 2015-2022. Dipoto is the architect behind the Mariners ending their 21-year playoff drought. While the climb to contention was not easy, the rise came from the Mariners’ front office. The average fan may not know how frequently the 54-year-old trades players, who has overseen a lot of trades in his seven seasons. At the end of the 2021 season, Seattle promoted him to President of Baseball Operations. As of December 2, 2022, Dipoto has overseen 139 trades, nearly double of Toronto Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins (70), who became general around the same time.

Dipoto has traded 246 players in 139 trades. Of those 246 players, 37 players traded more than once. The most recent transaction saw Dipoto acquire Kolten Wong from the Milwaukee Brewers. With so many trades to analyze, here are the most notable trades that have benefitted the Seattle Mariners.

Jerry Dipoto’s Best Trades

 J.P. Crawford trade from Philadelphia

Less than two hours after the Robinson Canó deal, Dipoto made another splash. The Mariners dealt All-Star shortstop Jean Segura and relievers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos to the Philadelphia Phillies for J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana. Segura became the seventh Mariners player from 2018’s 89-73 club to be dealt. Segura led Seattle with a .304 batting average with 10 home runs, 63 RBI and a 3.8 WAR. Since coming to the Mariners, Crawford has served as the starting shortstop, becoming another long-term piece to Dipoto’s transition phase. He won a Gold Glove in the shortened 2020 season for his defensive efforts.

Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez Trade from Cincinnati

This trade ignited a series of trades between the Seattle and the Cincinnati Reds. The Reds moved All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker and third baseman Eugenio Suárez to the Mariners for Justin Dunn, Brandon Williamson, Jake Fraley, and a PTBNL. He was acquired to provide middle-of-the-lineup depth with his powerful left-handed bat. What followed was Winker’s worst season of his career, hitting an underwhelming .219/.344/.344 batting line. Winker was traded to the Brewers after the postseason.

Suarez had more success, hitting a team-high 31 home runs and 78 RBI while finishing fourth in the AL in defensive putouts.

Then, Luis Castillo, Months Later

Luis Castillo was among the few bright spots on the 2022 Reds. He was the team’s lone All-Star as the starter was 4-4 with an ERA of 2.86 in 85 innings pitched. Arguably Castillo was one of the more valuable players to be traded midseason. Acquiring him helped to bolster the rotation, while the Mariners traded three prospects, Edwin Arroyo, Noelvi Marte, and Levi Stoudt, who have yet to play in the majors.

Ultimately, this trade succeeded because Castillo was on an expiring deal. Less than two months after Seattle acquired the right-hander, its front office gave him a 5-year $108 million extension. Acquiring Castillo paid exponentially for the Mariners as his Game 1 performance against Toronto led to Seattle’s first ALDS since 2001. In 7 and 1/3 innings, he allowed no earned runs on six hits and five strikeouts. Castillo will head into the 2023 season at just 30 years old and in the prime of his career. With this trade, the Mariners have an ace for their pitching staff for the next few seasons.

 Ty France Trade

In the 2020 season, the San Diego Padres had one of the best farm systems in baseball. They have been looking to become a playoff contender for years. While the Padres were plentiful in some positions, they needed a catcher and two relievers. The Mariners execute a blockbuster trade with San Diego to get a handful of prospects. Coming back to Seattle includes Taylor Trammel became the Mariners’ right fielder at 24 years old and will be with the team for another six years.

Andre Munoz struggled in San Diego’s bullpen but is thriving in Seattle. At 23, the right-hander had a 2.49 ERA in 65 innings pitched with 96 strikeouts. Luis Torrens has been able to catch more in Seattle than in San Diego. However, the biggest acquisition for the Mariners is Ty France. During his time in San Diego, France struggled to make the lineup. Since coming to the Mariners, France has hit .284/.354/.441 with 40 home runs and 169 RBI. France has become the everyday starting first baseman and even was an all-star in 2022. This trade also benefitted San Diego as the catcher became Austin, Nola, who became a regular with the Padres. With so many regulars coming from this trade, San Diego’s farm system helped build two contenders.

Jarred Kelenic Trade with New York Mets

Jarred Kelenic may be the focal point of this trade now, but this deal focused on Robinson Cano. After seven great seasons with the New York Yankees, Cano seeked a lengthy contract. Following the 2013 season, the Mariners offered him a 10-year $240 million contract. After five seasons with Seattle, the team was looking to unload the contract with five years and $120 million remaining. Consequently, the Mariners were able to package Cano with closer Edwin Díaz to the New York Mets.

Coming back for the Mariners included Jay Bruce, Guerson Bautista, Justin Dunn, Anthony Swarzak, and Jarred Kelenic. Bruce and Swarzak would play less than one season with Seattle as both were traded elsewhere by the season’s end. Bautista would appear in a handful of games before returning to the minors.

At the time, Jarred Kelenic was the first-round draft pick of the Mets in 2018. By 2021, Kelenic would become a superstar in the Mariners’ farm system. In addition, he appeared as the Mariners’ representative at the futures game in 2019 and 2021. Although this has not translated to the majors yet, he will be a Mariner until 2029. Not to mention the money saved on Cano’s contract allowed the Mariners to have the financial flexibility to sign additional players.

Final Thoughts

The Seattle Mariners are a team on the rise. After making the playoffs for the first time in twenty-one years, Jerry Dipoto’s team can contend and do more. With the acquisitions made through these trades, Seattle was able to develop most of the lineup through scoping talent. With most players under contract for at least another four years, they have developed a core with multiple chances to contend for their first World Series. As the only team in the majors to never win a pennant, it’s something they can accomplish. While most teams have developed within the farm system, Jerry Dipoto has been able to build a team through trades.

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Players/managers mentioned:

Jerry Dipoto, Kolten Wong, J.P. Crawford,  Robinson Canó, Jean Segura, Juan NicasioJames Pazos, Carlos Santana, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suárez, Justin Dunn, Brandon Williamson, Jake Fraley, Luis Castillo, Edwin Arroyo, Noelvi Marte, Levi Stoudt, Ty France, Luis Torrens, Jarred Kelenic, Edwin Díaz, Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak