Seattle Mariners Trade a Day: Mitch Haniger to The Queen City?

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 14: Mitch Haniger #17 of the Seattle Mariners scores on a double off the bat of Domingo Santana in the third inning against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park on April 14, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 14: Mitch Haniger #17 of the Seattle Mariners scores on a double off the bat of Domingo Santana in the third inning against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park on April 14, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Seattle Mariners have won 4 of their last 5 games against the dregs of the American League, but most people’s focus continues to be on what already has, and will be, an insane trade deadline.

Thus far, the Mariners and GM Jerry Dipoto have focused on unloading big-money veterans to help clear the books. Whether or not Dipoto will actually move players he doesn’t “have to” remains to be seen.

We have profiled a few of these players and today we look at a potential deal to send the Mariners biggest trade chip to the state of Ohio. Today, we talk Mitch Haniger and the Cincinnati Reds.

This topic stems from an interesting report that popped up last week. The report comes from Jon Morosi:

So the Reds are looking for controllable hitters and one of the best who may be on the market is All-Star outfielder Mitch Haniger. The Mariners actually have a few controllable hitters who make sense for Cincinnati, including Omar Narvaez and Domingo Santana.

But without question, the player that would net the biggest return is Haniger. Yes, he is struggling and is currently battling his way back from a ruptured testicle. However, he has 3.5 years of club control, with above-average plate discipline, power, and defense. Haniger also shows an ability to handle centerfield in short stints, a trait that should help his value more.

Dipoto has been consistent in saying the Mariners intend to build around Haniger. However, we know that Dipoto will listen about anybody, including Haniger who was available this winter. Seattle didn’t find anybody willing to meet their asking price, but that doesn’t mean they won’t rebait the hook.

The Reds are in a similar place to where the Mariners hope to be in 2020: needing a second-half surge to make the playoffs, but having a solid core from which to build a sustained winner. The Reds have a good farm system, solid young players, and enough money to make them players in free agency.

We don’t know if the Reds would be willing to pay the freight for Haniger or if they would prefer a cheaper bat like Santana, but they have enough interesting players to give Dipoto enough to consider moving his “franchise player”.

The interesting thing about the Reds is they don’t need to give up a prospect only package. They have quite a bit of solid MLB depth, particularly in the pitching department. If the Reds are willing to part ways with a young MLB player, it could help a deal come to fruition.

Pitchers like Tyler Mahle, Amir Garrett, and Anthony DeSclafani make sense. Obviously, getting a Major Leaguer in a package would cut into the prospect haul for Dipoto, but that may not be a bad thing. Ultimately, we will focus on a package of prospects. Here is our proposal:

So in this package, the Mariners net the Reds #3, #6, and #10 prospect (MLB Pipeline Ranks). India, the 5th overall pick of last years draft, is a third baseman with above-average or better tools across the board.

India has the goods to stick at third, and can even handle shortstop and second if needed. The right-handed hitter is likely to be a quick mover through the system. 2021 isn’t out of the question and India could be the heir apparent to Kyle Seager.

India has work to do, but if all goes right, he could be a .270/.340/.480 hitter with great defense and 20-25 home runs and even a handful of steals. India isn’t an elite prospect but should be a big leaguer with a chance to be an All-Star.

Perhaps the player with the highest upside in the deal is Mike Siani. A plus athlete, Siani was a 4th round pick out of a Pennsylvania High School in 2018. Siani has well above-average speed, arm, and defense grades, with above-average raw power.

The question with Siani is the hit tool. There is still some swing and miss concerns, but Siani has a good idea at the plate and a swing that can be ironed out. He has a little Jake Fraley in him, but at 19-years-old, has a higher upside. He should be able to stick in center, but if a move to a corner is necessary, Siani will need to improve his hit tool even further.

Finally, the Mariners cap off their package with 19-year-old RHP Lyon Richardson. But despite his young age, Richardson may be on a relatively fast-track to the big leagues. The RHP has a fastball that touches 97 MPH with an above-average slider to pair with it.

Richardson has a fringe-average curveball, changeup, and command. A good athlete, Richardson should have no issue staying in the rotation, as he repeats his delivery, allowing him to throw strikes.

The package above may seem light, but unless the Reds are willing to move an MLB player, it may be the best the Mariners could hope for. Personally, I would love to see a Tyler Mahle and Jonathan India package.

But Mahle isn’t a free agent until 2023, meaning it is likely one or the other. A Mahle and Siani package would be a good haul and provide help now, more club control, and an upside prep bat.

Next. Rumors: Santana to Philly?. dark

Overall, there are a number of interesting packages these two teams can put together. Dipoto is crazy creative, so multiple players head to Cincinnati or a 3 team deal are all on the table. Ultimately, it is hard to image a Haniger deal getting done. But if the right deal comes along, the Mariners must consider.