3. Mitch Haniger
Man, was 2019 a disappointing year for Mitch Haniger. Or perhaps, frustrating is a better word. After his breakout 2018, Haniger could never repeat his success in 2019 before a ruptured testicle and back injuries forced him to miss 100 games and end his 2019 before he had a chance to get back on track.
With that being said, Haniger was still a useful player and at his age and entering just year 1 of arbitration, he still holds tremendous trade value. We talked about all the reasons the Mariners may trade an OF on the last slide, so let’s talk about why they may not trade this outfielder.
First, he is coming off a mediocre season. His trade value isn’t as high as it was last winter and there is no evidence to suggest he had much of a market last winter either. Seattle still needs impact guys on their 2020 roster and if Haniger is truly seen as a building block, an extension may make more sense than a trade.
While Haniger’s value is down, keeping him for the first half of 2020 and flipping him in June or July wouldn’t diminish his current value at all, assuming he plays well. There are still a lot of ways to play the Haniger situation.
One thing we know is that Jerry Dipoto won’t just flip Haniger for less than what he wants. All indications seem to be that the acquiring team would need to part with young major leaguer(s) or prospects close to the big leagues, as opposed to the classic, high-upside 18-year-old types.
And for a team wanting to compete by 2021, that all makes sense. Whether or not somebody will pay it is another story.
Teams who could be in the market for Mitch Haniger includes the entire league but particularly the White Sox, Indians, Braves, Reds, Cardinals, and Rockies.