Mid-term front office grades: Astros, Rangers, and the AL West mess

Jun 20, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Houston Astros pitcher Spencer Arrighetti (41) delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 20, 2024; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Houston Astros pitcher Spencer Arrighetti (41) delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
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Seattle Mariners: Jerry Dipoto president, Justin Hollander executive vice president and general manager. Grade: F.

Given Seattle’s standing atop the AL West, its failing grade for post-2023 work must come as a surprise. But the data is clear: The Mariners are winning for reasons having little to do with moves made by the front office since the end of the 2023 postseason.

Luck may be one of those factors. The M’s were 45-36 entering play Tuesday, but that was three games better than their 42-39 Pythagorean projection.

But the personnel numbers are also problematic. The Dipoto-Hollander front office has made 33 personnel moves impacting the major league roster, of which a fairly stunning 21 have had negative impact as against just seven positive scores.

The only new contributor of note is outfielder Luke Raley, obtained from Tampa Bay in a January swap. He’s hitting .254 with a .741 OPS, good for a +0.5 WAA.

Dipoto and Hollander completed what at the time looked like one big trade, sending Robbie Ray to San Francisco in exchange for Anthony DeSclafani and Mitch Haniger. But neither Ray nor DeSclafani has pitched for his new team, and Haniger (-1.3) had been bad.

The Mariners are fortunate to have entered 2024 with a solid core including starters Bryan Woo, Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Raleigh, closer Anthony Muñoz, middle infielder Dylan Moore, third baseman Josh Rojas, and outfielder Julio Rodriguez.

All have made positive contributions, but all were also previously under contract before the workup to the 2024 season.

In short, the Mariners are winning despite the front office’s 2024 efforts, not due to them.

Score: -6.2. Grade: F.