Have you ever heard of Jerry Dipoto? He’s the guy in charge of picking the Seattle Mariners’ players, and depending on who you ask, he’s either a forward-thinking genius, a snake oil salesman, a Dibozo, or some combination of all three.
Dipoto got his current job as Mariners’ general manager in September 2015, meaning he oversaw the near-playoff year in 2016, the second half collapse in 2018, and now the hard reset that saw Félix, Canó, Cruz, Paxton, Zunino, and everything but the grass leave town.
Given his reputation as a trade-obsessed team builder, it’s no surprise that most of the players on his Best Acquisitions list came to Seattle via trade. Free agency has been less kind, although he hasn’t taken the same kind of big swings that Bill Bavasi or Jack Z did. If you’d like to try your hand at guessing those guys’ best acquisitions, you came to the right place.
Only five of these 15 players are still in the Mariners’ system, which is pretty incredible considering how recently Dipoto took over. One of them is a Rookie of the Year and another is a Gold Glove winner. One made the All-Star team in 2018, as did a former teammate from the same trade who has since been traded again. We’ll give Dipoto a pass on the lack of draft picks on this list, as the minor leagues are a slow and arduous process that take a few years to churn out big leaguers, but if we’re still having this conversation in two or three years we have major problems.
15 players have been hired by Jerry Dipoto and returned at least 2.0 bWAR as a Seattle Mariner. It’s very position player-heavy and has a few guys with just one season of Mariner experience to their name. The lack of Dee Strange-Gordon and Yusei Kikuchi are the largest bummers.