Jerry DiPoto, Seattle Mariners
AL West rank: first.
MLB rank: eighth
In an effort to close the gap with Houston and end his team’s two-decade playoff-less streak, DiPoto made moves involving 48 major leaguers. Fifteen of those involved trades, two of them critical ones with Cincinnati.
A March trade obtained infielder Eugenio Suarez, who had been a disappointment in Cincinnati but who found his game in Seattle. Suarez hit 31 home runs with a .791 OPS, good for +1.9 WAR.
Then in August, DiPoto coaxed pitcher Luis Castillo away from the Reds. Castillo went 4-2 down the stretch, making 11 starts and awing the American League with his pure stuff. Statistically, that added another +0.5 WAA.
Collectively, DiPoto’s trade acquisitions were uneven, netting -1.7 WAA. The Suarez trade also saddled Seattle with Jesse Winker, who batted just .219, measuring out at -2.1 WAA. So there were ups and downs. That left Seattle mid-pack 16th in net trade impact.
Where DiPoto really made his impact, of course, was in his decision to promote Julio Rodriguez to the big club on opening day. Granted, any sentient human in DiPoto’s position would have done the same; he gets the credit. That credit amounted to +4.1 WAA, making Rodriguez the second most valuable roster addition – behind only Justin Verlander — for any team in 2022.
Thanks to Rodriguez’ Seattle’s rookie crop of nine produced a collective 4.5 WAA worth of value. That made it the second most valuable rookie crop in the game behind only the Atlanta Braves of Spencer Strider, Michael Harris, etc.