5 questions facing the Mariners less than a month to Spring Training

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 17: Dee Gordon #9 of the Seattle Mariners walks off the field against the Pittsburgh Pirates during inter-league play at PNC Park on September 17, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 17: Dee Gordon #9 of the Seattle Mariners walks off the field against the Pittsburgh Pirates during inter-league play at PNC Park on September 17, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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2. Mitch Haniger‘s future with Seattle

SEATTLE, WA – APRIL 14: Mitch Haniger #17 of the Seattle Mariners scores on a double off the bat of Domingo Santana in the third inning against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park on April 14, 2019, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA – APRIL 14: Mitch Haniger #17 of the Seattle Mariners scores on a double off the bat of Domingo Santana in the third inning against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park on April 14, 2019, in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Perhaps the biggest storyline of the Mariners off-season has been the rumor mill surrounding 2018 All-Star Mitch Haniger. After a market didn’t develop last winter, there was talk of a more robust trade market for the 29-year-old outfielder.

And that very well may have been the case and still could be. But after some early flirtation with the White Sox and Diamondbacks, but they decided to go cheaper versus better and neither side has been talked about much.

With Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna still on the market, teams may be waiting to see if they can snag them rather than give up prospects for Haniger. Meanwhile, Seattle has maintained the facade that they feel no pressure to move Haniger and see him as a building block rather than a trade chip.

Whether they are serious or posturing, and whether or not a trade will get done before spring training are both up in the air. At the beginning of the off-season, I would have estimated that the odds Haniger was traded was 25%. Last month, I would have guessed 50-50. Now, I’d go 35-65.

Seattle may wait until Haniger puts up a solid few months and shows he is healthy before dealing him. Or perhaps the market finally comes to them in the way they are hoping for. Or maybe they work out an extension.

Literally all are possibilities and the ambiguity of the situation makes Haniger’s future with the Mariners the second biggest question entering Spring Training 2020.

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