Ryan Divish of The Seattle Instances experiences that outfielder Mitch Haniger is hoping to return to the Mariners in 2023. Haniger, 32, is a pending free agent following a season the place he slashed .246/.308/.429 in simply 57 video games as he was restricted by ankle and again accidents all year long. The Mariners, for his or her half, have been effusive of their reward of Haniger, however haven’t publicly dedicated come what may concerning a potential reunion.
Divish opines that Seattle could lengthen Haniger a qualifying provide, and notes that Haniger would doubtless settle for one if supplied. The Mariners tagging Haniger with a QO would register as a shock given his age, in depth damage historical past, and the depressed market that low-OBP, power-hitting nook outfielders like Haniger have present in free company in recent times. Moreover, Seattle is loaded on expertise within the outfield, with Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis, Taylor Trammell, and Jesse Winker among the many choices already underneath workforce management for 2023 to man the outfield alongside famous person Julio Rodriguez. With a transparent gap at second base and excessive greenback contracts allotted to the likes of Robbie Ray and Luis Castillo, it’s potential that re-signing Haniger might not be one of the best use of Seattle’s sources this offseason.
However, Haniger is a beloved workforce chief who has been with the Mariners for six seasons, which makes him the longest-tenured participant in a clubhouse that has incessantly undergone roster churn in recent times. Moreover, he’s been a dependable contributor offensively every time he’s been on the sector, having posted above-average seasons by OPS+ each season he’s performed following his rookie 2016 season, when he performed simply 36 video games. Whereas the Mariners actually have a plethora of choices within the outfield coming into subsequent season, none of them (Rodriguez apart) include Haniger’s monitor report of productiveness. Winker is coming off a down season, Kelenic has struggled within the majors regardless of his prospect pedigree, Lewis has performed simply 54 video games within the majors since his 2020 Rookie of the 12 months marketing campaign and badly struggled when he was dealing with main league pitching in 2022, and Trammell could also be higher suited as a bench bat than an day by day participant.
Given all this, a reunion with Haniger might make sense for Seattle, although maybe not on the stage a $19.65MM QO would require. Divish suggests a multiyear deal within the $10-12MM AAV vary might make sense, and that appears extra believable, although Haniger could need to resort to a shorter time period deal given his injury-marred season in 2022.