It has been a long time since we have done this, but today we open up the site to questions from Mariners fans sent to us on Twitter. Today, we cover a wide range of topics from future payroll to prospects and everything in between.
We have a lot of questions to get to, which is great. It means our audience is still interested in the Mariners despite coming to the end of a long season and there seems to be real excitement regarding the 2019-2020 off-season.
We would like this to become a recurring series on the website, so if you have questions, please send them to us on Twitter @sodomojoFS and we will try to answer every question you might have.
Without further ado, let’s just dive right in with question #1:
The simple truth of the matter is, we don’t know. Should they be open to dealing Mitch Haniger? Absolutely. The Mariners may not have an area of strength greater than in the outfield, and despite a poor 2019, Haniger still has the most value of the group.
We know they at least listened to a few ideas in the last off-season, but it sounds like only the Braves were seriously interested and a deal couldn’t be struck. If GM Jerry Dipoto had his pick, I believe he would love to sign Haniger to an extension, but there have been no indications Haniger is interested in such a deal.
Things change quickly and we don’t have all the information but for now, let’s assume he doesn’t want to sign an extension and is instead willing to go to arbitration each of the next 3 winters to hit free agency on time. At that point, seriously shopping him makes a lot of sense.
You have Mallex Smith, Domingo Santana, Jake Fraley, and Braden Bishop seemingly ready to go for 2020. You also have OF talent like Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic, and possibly Evan White not far off. And you have the ability to go trade or sign an outfielder as well.
If they do trade him, two teams jump out as possibilities that probably weren’t last off-season: the Cincinnati Reds and Tampa Bay Rays. Both could use some right-handed thump, have the farm systems and MLB talent to meet the price tag, and Haniger’s relatively low salary will be appealing.
At the end of the day, I think Haniger sticks around into 2020. Whether or not he finishes 2020 in Seattle is anybody’s guess.