Seattle Mariners: 5 Under-the-Radar Free Agent Targets
By Ty Gonzalez
OF LONNIE CHISENHALL
The Mariners may move on from Denard Span and his $12 million option. Converting Mitch Haniger to a full-time center fielder also isn’t out of the question. Therefore, two corner outfield spots may be up for grabs when all is said and done this Winter.
Lonnie Chisenhall is the dictionary definition of “under-the-radar.” All he has done in his eight-year career is produce for the Cleveland Indians, though injuries have plagued him throughout. In 2018, Chisenhall only appeared in 29 games after suffering a lingering calf injury. He was still nearly a 1.0 fWAR player in that limited time. Later in the year, Chisenhall attempted a return, but only made it through nine rehab games before the Indians pumped the brakes on him.
Entering his age 31 season, the Indians will likely move on from Chisenhall, despite potentially having Melky Cabrera and Michael Brantley on the market as well. The Mariners may be the biggest benefactors; perhaps they will even have interest in Cabrera and Brantley as well.
Chisenhall makes the most sense in a buy-low opportunity, though. His ceiling is rather high considering how cheap he may come due to the injury history. Chisenhall is a career 102 wRC+ hitter with solid defense and tad bit of positional flexibility, having played all four corner spots at one point or another.
With all that said, Chisenhall would likely never assume a full-time starter role. He’s a rotational piece that provides above-average offensive production off the bench. That’s still a very valuable player, especially for the numbers he’s been able to post in limited action. He’s the kind of player I would want the Mariners to target to fill out this roster.