The biggest tidbit of the Mariners off-season dropped yesterday when it was reported by Ken Rosenthal of “The Athletic” that Seattle has been asked about the availability of Mitch Haniger. Today, we present some options.
Mariners fans were briefly awoken from their late autumn slumber with the word that teams are at least interested in talking about outfielder Mitch Haniger. This isn’t a major surprise as, despite Haniger missing nearly 100 games with a ruptured testicle and back problems, he is still a valuable player.
Entering his age-29 season and having 3 full seasons of club control remaining, a lot of teams should be interested in Haniger, especially considering the poor free-agent market. And while we do not know if these conversations are anything more than the obligatory due diligence, it none the less makes us wonder who are the best fits for the 2018 All-Star.
So today, let’s take a look at 3 teams who are most likely interested in acquire the one, the only, Mitchell Evan Haniger.
1. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds are currently where the Mariners hope to be this time next year. They are entering this off-season as clear buyers, despite not being able to break the 80 win mark in 2019. But with Sonny Gray and Trevor Bauer locked into the rotation and players like Nick Senzel and Eugenio Suarez to anchor their lineup, the Reds are ready to attack the NL Central.
But they need more to get there, particularly on the offensive side of the game. But like the Mariners, they are a mid-market club and are unlikely to spend their way to the top of their division. Adding Haniger is more than a 1-year fix for the Reds and will help fill a major need without costing major dollars.
Haniger’s ability to play all 3 outfield spots is an added bonus, as the Reds current outfield situation is less than ideal. Adding a defender like Haniger allows them to focus more on talent than fit.
The Reds need outfielders and the market isn’t exactly fruitful this winter. With Trevor Bauer in the last year of his deal and Joey Votto‘s continued decline, the Reds would be wise to take advantage of an NL Central that see the Pirates and Cubs entering some stage of a rebuild.
Cincinnati has the prospect and/or young MLB talent Dipoto will want and if the Reds are willing to pay a fair price, they make a lot of sense for the Mariners as trade partners.