I have actually come around on the recent Mariners trades. Please note that I’m writing this on Thursday night, and if any trades have happened between now and when this is published Friday morning, I am not talking about those. I mean, I might be. But if the Mariners trade for, like, Jonathan Schoop, then I’m out. No thanks.
Though the Graveman trade was obviously poorly timed, it now seems clear that the Mariners acquired more than fair value from a statistical perspective. One thing that might be ticking off the players, though, is Graveman’s pristine ERA.
Players love ERA in the way that they love batting average. When you walk out to the mound, it’s the biggest number staring back down at you. Every out lowers it. Every run raises it. Though we nerds try to shy away from using it as an actual indicator of performance, it remains the most well-recognized pitching statistic among the general public.
And Graveman’s ERA, man. It was up there. How good was it? Take this quiz. These are the qualified Mariners relievers with the best single-season ERA’s of all time.