Seattle Mariners president Jerry Dipoto may or may not be your cup of tea as a team administrator. But he almost always ranks high on the interest meter, largely due to the frenetic activity that seems to surround him.
Interestingly, Dipoto appears to have dialed down that activity level a couple notches since the end of the 2022 season. He’s still moved around 32 major league personnel pieces (that’s a relatively high number) but few of his deals or signings made major national waves, something Dipoto has specialized at in previous seasons.
Perhaps he needed to create more churn. A 2022 playoff team, the Dipoto led Mariners finished the 2023 season’s first half Saturday night at an indifferent 39-42 and in fourth place in the AL West.
Grading the Seattle Mariners at the midway point of the 2023 season
What follows is a mid-term assessment of Dipoto’s personnel decisions since the conclusion of the 2022 World Series with a particular focus on the extent to which those decisions have helped or hindered the team’s performance.
The standard of measurement is Wins Above Average (WAA), a variant of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). For this purpose, WAA is preferable because unlike WAR, it is zero-based. That means the sum of all the decisions made by DiPoto impacting the 2023 team gives at least a good estimate of the number of games those moves have improved (or worsened) the team’s status this season.
A team’s front office impacts that team’s standing in five ways. Those five are:
1. By the impact of players it acquires from other teams via trade, purchase or waiver claim.
2. By the impact of players it surrenders to other teams in those same transactions.
3. By the impact of players it signs at free agency or extends.
4. By the impact of players it loses to free agency or releases.
5. By the impact of players it promotes from its own farm system.
Here’s how Dipoto stacks up by those five yardsticks.