Seattle Mariners: 5 Best Trade Spots for Outfielder Mitch Haniger
4. Tampa Bay Rays
Unlike the Cardinals, the Rays roster doesn’t have an obvious fit for Haniger, but certainly has the prospect depth and quality to match Dipoto’s asking price.
It’s not like the Rays have irreplaceable outfielders, as their current opening day projection has Kevin Kiermaier in CF and Austin Meadows in RF. Kiermaier is a great defender, but has been unable to stay healthy and has been average-at-best with the bat.
Meadows was a highly touted prospect who came to TB in the Chris Archer trade and flashed in his 60 games at the big leagues in 2018. Haniger would represent an upgrade to either, but perhaps not significant enough to entice the Rays to get involved.
If they were interested, they could put together a package that could, theoretically, challenge or beat both the White Sox and Braves. With prospects like Brendan McKay, Jesus Sanchez, Brent Honeywell, Matthew Liberatore, Vidal Brujan, and Shane Baz representing just a fraction of the talent in this system, the Rays might have the 3rd best system in baseball.
Honeywell would definitely check off the box of highly touted pitching prospect on Dipoto’s list, and Ronaldo Hernadez and Shane McClanahan are a heck of a secondary piece to entice Dipoto and the Mariners.
Where the Cardinals may need to add major league talent to compete with the other teams ahead of them, the Rays have to ammo to use their farm system to acquire an All-Star, without touching their MLB roster.
As I mentioned above, the Cardinals are just a better fit than the Rays. However, on a prospect by prospect basis, the Rays easily outgun St. Louis.