The Jerry Dipoto led Seattle Mariners’ trade deadline started back in May. Dipoto always seems ready to make a deal, and runs his franchise like someone playing fantasy baseball or a video game. It makes for some intrigue when looking at how he approaches the deadline, and it’s important to see which of his deals were wins and which of them were losses.
The Winning Trades
It is clear with the trades leading up to the deadline that the Mariners are heading for a rebuild. Dipoto seemed determined to build a contender by mixing and matching pieces, but never could find the right formula. It looks as though he is tearing it down in a sense in order to better position the franchise for the future.
The Seattle Mariners beefed up their top 30 prospects by being active at this trade deadline. The team sent slugger Edwin Encarnación to the New York Yankees. In return, they received 19 year old righty Juan Then. Then does not project as a top of the rotation arm, but he slots in as the Mariners’ 16th best prospect. He has a high floor, which is what the Mariners need to bolster their farm system.
The team also traded relievers Roenis Elias and Hunter Strickland to the Nationals for three prospects. Taylor Guilbeau is a 26 year old left handed pitcher and has a really good slider. He has his control issues, and will need to figure that out to make it in the big leagues. He slots in as the 22nd best prospect in the Mariners system. Aaron Fletcher was another big piece as he is a 23 year old left handed pitcher that slots in as number 27 in the Mariners’ system. He dominates same handed batters, and will likely be a bullpen arm. The Mariners also received another pitcher in Elvis Alvarado.
The Salary Dump Trades
The Mariners did some salary dumping at the deadline, and one of the notable ones was Jay Bruce. They sent him along with some cash to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for infielder Jake Scheiner. He represents something of a lottery ticket as he was taken in the 4th round of the 2017 draft. Scheiner will likely become a utility player in the majors.
Mike Leake was another salary dump that the Mariners executed at the deadline. They sent him to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for infielder Jose Caballero. He is a third baseman that is described as having an above average bat and being a skilled hitter. He is out with a hand injury which surely limits his value.
The Mariners Trade Deadline Conclusion
It is clear that the Mariners are heading into a rebuild period. The team sold off many pieces that were not going to be part of the future and received some decent prospects to bolster their farm system. Jerry Dipoto was active in doing that and surely will remain active throughout the winter.
It remains to be seen if Dipoto will be able to continue the path of a full rebuild. Dipoto loves to make trades, as mentioned before, but he will surely be restricted in what he can do to improve the major league club during a rebuild. The Mariners need a full rebuild and this deadline was a step in the right direction. This club has not made the postseason since 2001 and has hung around in the middle between contending and the bottom. The direction is clear, but the question remains if Dipoto and ownership has the patience to see a full rebuild through.
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