Jerry Dipoto has built a reputation as the most prolific trader in the Major Leagues in his 28 months as Mariners general manager, so it's probably not surprising that some of his 62 deals have come under unusual circumstances. Speaking on his latest Wheelhouse Podcast, which was released on Friday, Dipoto said he finalized this winter's trade for Dee Gordon via text message with Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill while on a flight back to Seattle from Los Angeles following the team's meeting with Shohei Ohtani. "We were 25,000, 30,0000 feet up when Dee Gordon joined the Mariners," Dipoto said in his conversation with Mariners broadcaster Aaron Goldsmith. "Once I landed back in Seattle, Mike asked me if that was the first deal I'd finished over text. I said, 'Mike, c'mon. When you make as many trades as we've made, you tend to do them in weird places or spaces.' But in this one, we were able to push it across in the air." Dipoto said most of the work in that deal had already been discussed in earlier phone calls, but he said he traded for lefty Wade LeBlanc for a player to be named in June 2016 strictly via a couple quick text messages with Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins. Another curiosity of that deal, Dipoto recalled, was that the two sides agreed that if LeBlanc pitched well but later became available again once the Mariners recovered from a spate of injuries to other starters, Seattle would offer him first back to Toronto as the player to be named before placing him on waivers. "That set up the potential of trading Wade LeBlanc for Wade LeBlanc, which would have been awesome," Dipoto said. "We weren't quite able to get there, but that would have been awesome." Dipoto also acknowledged that he is among many general managers who use video GIFs and emojis in their texts to each other to convey messages during trade negotiations.
Mariners GM says he traded for Dee Gordon mid-flight
MLB.com | Jan 13