The current outfield for the Seattle Mariners has been a mess recently due to injuries and the team deciding to play utility players or career infielders out there instead of acquiring a true outfielder (they did just claim Keon Broxton off of waivers) or promoting an outfielder like Jake Fraley or Ian Miller from Triple-A Tacoma.
With the strength of the Mariners minor league system revolving around outfielders, it’s not hard to get excited about what could lie ahead in the spacious outfield of T-Mobile Park; however, those prospects most likely won’t arrive at the start of the 2020 season, so it’s time to take a look at who could man the outfield for the Mariners at the start of next year.
For the purpose of this exercise, I will only be filling the outfield with players currently in the organization. Obviously, with general manager Jerry Dipoto at the helm the outfield options could change quickly, but let’s start by looking at the current Mariners roster.
A quick peek at the roster shows only two true outfielders on the active roster: Mallex Smith and Domingo Santana (Mitch Haniger and Braden Bishop are on the IL, but will be used for this exercise). Broxton hasn’t been officially added to the roster at the time of this writing, which is why the Mariners have been using the likes of Tim Beckham, Dylan Moore, Kristopher Negron, and Ryan Court in the outfield. The current crop of “outfielders” certainly isn’t evoking memories of Griffey and Buhner or Ichiro and Mike Cameron.
So where does the team go from here? Let’s break it down:
Of the outfielders currently in the organization the one “lock” for the outfield next year is Haniger. “Lock” is in quotation marks because Dipoto would have no problem trading Haniger if the right package came along; however, due to Haniger’s unfortunate injury that is currently sidelining him, Dipoto wouldn’t get top value for Haniger this winter.
Given the circumstances surrounding Haniger right now, it is easy to see why he will be patrolling the outfield for the Mariners on Opening Day. As we saw the last off-season, Haniger is someone that Dipoto mentioned as wanting to build around. An All-Star when healthy, Haniger will be a key component for the Mariners desires to be more competitive in 2020.