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Originally published Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8:05 PM

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Great moments in Mariners rebuilding

The Mariners have tried this rebuilding thing a time or two. June 2, 1987 The Mariners didn't always make the best use of No. 1 overall draft picks...

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The Mariners have tried this rebuilding thing a time or two.

June 2, 1987

The Mariners didn't always make the best use of No. 1 overall draft picks (see: Al Chambers, 1979). But in 1987, they got it spectacularly right, taking Ken Griffey Jr. That worked out pretty well, bizarre 2010 exit aside. They nailed it again in 1993, with Alex Rodriguez.

July 21, 1988

GM Dick Balderson, who was, ironically, fired days later, pulls off one of the Mariners' greatest trades. He sent Ken Phelps to the Yankees for Jay Buhner, much to the dismay of Frank Costanza.

May 25, 1989

New GM Woody Woodward deals star pitcher Mark Langston to Montreal for three young pitchers, including an unusually tall left-hander with control issues named Randy Johnson. Nine years later, it was Johnson in the Langston role, dealt to the Astros for Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and John Halama.

July 30, 1996

After their dramatic run to the playoffs in 1995, the Mariners took a step backward in '96 but they did make one move that paid off, trading outfielder Darren Bragg to Boston for a veteran pitcher who hadn't had much success, Jamie Moyer.

Nov. 30, 2000

GM Pat Gillick had been forced to trade Griffey before the 2000 season but built a playoff team with Mike Cameron, who he got in the Griffey deal, and several shrewd free-agent signings. Now, after the 2000 season, it was A-Rod bailing. No worries. The Mariners put in the highest bid after Ichiro was posted by his Japanese team and signed him. All Ichiro did in his first season with the Mariners was win the American League MVP award.

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