Well Mariners fans, it’s clear that our general manager likes to trade a lot. The positive is that Jerry Dipoto is clearly passionate about his job and wants his team to succeed any which way.
A red flag about all the trades is that either Dipoto is unclear about his vision or thinks more trades equal a more effective general manager.
While you can only respect Dipoto wanting the Mariners to succeed, the high volume of trades since he was hired before the 2016 season is getting a little old. His 2018 rebuild made sense and this season, trading Elias and Strickland were also necessary things to do. His goal is to make the team younger and better stocked and so far, he’s succeeded.
But when it comes to remaining veterans untouched by firesale 2018, leave them alone. Please wait them out because those holdovers are worth a chance. Marco, Domingo, and Mitch come to mind. But let’s focus on Mitch Haniger right now.
Rumors constantly seem to be swirling that Mitch may be a trade casualty this offseason. But why should that be the case? If Dipoto traded him, it seems like he would do it solely for the purpose of trading him.
You can’t build a winner by trading away all of your remaining veterans from only a couple of years ago. Like Mitch, you keep the guys who are taking up less payroll. And showing the most promise at that. Mitch Haniger is the current face of the franchise.
While his 2019 wasn’t very effective with a .220 average, remember that he missed 100 games of the season due to one of the unluckiest sports injuries a player can get. And if he had been healthier and played a full season, he probably would have resorted back to how he did in 2017 and 2018.
I’m not the general manager and can’t control what Dipoto will do with Mitch before the 2020 campaign. But it just feels like if he did trade Mitch, it would be a random move that would hurt the team.
It would seem similar to Bill Bavasi dealing away Adam Jones for Erik Bedard in February 2008. Now a key difference is that unlike Jones’ return, a veteran, Mitch’s trade return would be even more youth.
But it still feels too soon to do anything with Mitch and I have a feeling inside that if he did depart, he would bloom too late a la Adam Jones. In other words, he would become the rising All-Star he has shown signs of becoming in a different uniform.
Despite being over a decade ago, trading Jones away before his glory years will sting more than any other trade in recent Mariner lore. But Mitch has been riddled with the injury plague in two of his first three Mariners seasons.
Give him a chance, Dipoto, please. It would be wise to leave Mitch be and not make the same killer mistake Bavasi did with Adam Jones. Remember how dominant Mitch was in 2017 before his oblique injury killed his momentum? Well when Mitch is healthy, this guy will be something special and is worth being patient with and building the future lineup card around.