The Mariners may leave the winter meetings making only a Rule 5 draft selection, as they said they would, and as most of us predicted. But one interesting note did emerge from this winter: Mitch Haniger is a popular topic of discussion.
Most notably, we heard that Haniger’s former team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, are interested in Haniger and the Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen and Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto have had discussions.
Now this report couldn’t be much vaguer. It could mean the two shared a 30-second phone call or it could mean the deal is just about agreed to. But while we wait and see what will come from this rumor, we may as well be prepared for the possibility of a deal.
First, we need to establish why Arizona is interested in acquiring Haniger. Arizona is coming off a surprising 85-win season and despite trading Zack Greinke in-season, they appear to be planning on attacking the NL Wild Card race in 2020, within reason.
Arizona is not going to spend massive amounts of money, nor are they going to give away lengthy contracts. Reports indicate they are not interested in handing out 5-year deals (I don’t know why this is the cutoff, but whatever), but they need impact players that can hit anywhere in the middle of their lineup.
So, long story short, Arizona is looking for an impact player with between 2-4 years of club control, who isn’t making serious money and can fill the biggest hole in their lineup, which is right field. I mean, come on. Do I even need to say anything else?
Now, Arizona isn’t the only team interested in Haniger and Haniger isn’t the only outfielder Arizona might be interested in. But when this many pieces of the puzzle fit, it is hard to overlook. But what would the Mariners need to move their All-Star outfielder? Let’s take a look at what Arizona has to offer.