Mitch Haniger’s sensational rebound on the heels of four surgeries was one of the highlights in a generally exciting 2021 season for Mariners fans. The now-31-year-old Haniger belted a career-high 39 home runs in a career-high 691 plate appearances, announcing his return from a gruesome sequence of injuries with authority and cementing himself in the heart of Seattle’s order — at least for now.
Haniger is set to become a free agent next offseason, and Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times takes a lengthy look at his status within the organization, noting that it’s quite possible this is Haniger’s final year with the club. The Mariners, to this point, haven’t had much interest in an extension due both to Haniger’s recent injury woes and the fact that he’ll be 32 in the first season of a new deal. It’s always possible that stance could change and talks could pick up when the lockout lifts, but barring that, Haniger would play out the current season and reach the market next winter, at which point all 30 teams would have the ability to sign him.
Further complicating the Haniger situation, of course, is the enviable depth the Mariners have in the outfield. While Haniger is entrenched in right field for the 2022 season, the Mariners hope that can be the long-term home for top prospect Julio Rodriguez, whom most outlets peg among the game’s top five to ten overall prospects. Seattle also has Jarred Kelenic, who struggled early in his debut campaign before a much stronger finish, 2020 Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis and former top-100 prospect Taylor Trammell as potential long-term options — to say nothing of current part-time options like Jake Fraley and Dylan Moore.
Rodriguez, in particular, is on the cusp of the Majors after hitting a combined .347/.441/.560 between Class-A Advanced and Double-A this past season. The Athletic’s Corey Brock takes a look the immediate outlook for Rodriguez and three other Mariners prospects, noting that there’s at least a small chance that Rodriguez could play his way onto the Opening Day roster. As Brock notes, president of baseball ops Jerry Dipoto has stated that there’s “no unrealistic expectation” for someone as talented as the 21-year-old Rodriguez.
Of course, Rodriguez has yet to play in Triple-A, and Mariners fans in particular will recall that the organization kept Kelenic in the minors to open the 2021 campaign under similar circumstances. That was a controversial decision, due largely to comments made by former Mariners CEO Kevin Mather, though Kelenic’s early struggles and his subsequent option back to Triple-A Tacoma at least made the Mariners’ decision look justifiable.
Heading into the 2022 season, Seattle could reasonably look to Haniger, Kelenic, Lewis, Fraley and newcomer Adam Frazier in the outfield (the latter depending heavily on what type of infielder or infielders Seattle adds in trade or free agency). There’s no urgent need for Rodriguez to break camp, but a big enough showing in whatever limited exhibition games we get could make his future a bigger talking point.
Also knocking on the door to the big leagues is 24-year-old right-hander George Kirby — a consensus top-100 prospect himself who’s expected to make his big league debut this coming season. He’s yet to pitch in Triple-A and only logged 26 frames in Double-A last season, so that’ll quite likely come later in the season — and Brock suggests it’d likely happen only if a legitimate rotation spot is opened due to injury or other circumstances. Kirby pitched in just 67 2/3 innings last season, and electric as they were, he could still use some further development.
In some respects, Rodriguez and Kirby are similar to last year’s ballyhooed duo of Kelenic and righty Logan Gilbert. Both debuted with huge fanfare, and while there were plenty of highlights (particularly down the stretch), there were plenty of ups and downs as well. Still, Seattle reliever Paul Sewald mentioned both Kelenic and Gilbert in an interview with Stacy Rost and Jake Heaps on 710 ESPN (YouTube link), pointing to both as potential examples of service-time manipulation when explaining the MLBPA’s stance in the ongoing labor talks.
Sewald, a close friend of Kris Bryant, pointed back to the longtime Cubs slugger’s delayed debut as the most egregious incident of service-time manipulation but also used the 2021 Mariners to rhetorically raise another aspect of the service-time debate.
“If we had Logan Gilbert and Jarred Kelenic from Opening Day, are we two games better and maybe we make the playoffs?” Sewald said. “I don’t know. I don’t know that for a fact. I’m just saying, if we weren’t looking at service-time manipulation, could they make an impact where you [instead of] finishing one game back, two games back, you maybe make the playoffs? It’s disappointing.”
Sewald certainly isn’t claiming Seattle would’ve been postseason-bound had both players debuted earlier — Kelenic certainly didn’t hit the ground running, after all — but it’s another aspect of the puzzle to consider. A more prominent example of that could be the 2010 Braves, who did make the decision to carry Jason Heyward on the Opening Day roster and ultimately edged out the Padres by one game for a Wild Card berth. Had they withheld Heyward, who hit .277/.393/.456 and finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, they could well have missed the postseason. There are obvious business reasons for teams to keep players down, and those who choose to do so aren’t necessarily doing anything wrong and are simply using the current system to their long-term advantage. Still, Sewald’s general point, outside of any specific examples, is one piece of the issue that isn’t always discussed.
Of greater note to Mariners fans, perhaps, is Sewald’s mention that he and Bryant are close friends. The Las Vegas natives are college teammates who’ve known each other since high school, and Sewald acknowledged that he’s lobbied for a reunion.
“I convinced him to go to University of San Diego with me and play with me there,” Sewald said with a laugh. “I am doing the best that I possibly can to convince him to be a Seattle Mariner for the next few years.”
Dollars and years figure to win the day whenever Bryant puts pen to paper, and Sewald’s comments are little more than anecdotal. That said, Mariners fans surely don’t mind having a close friend of Bryant on the roster who’s attempting to sell him on the team, city and fan base — all else being equal.
Do you trade from an area of strength and deal Haniger? Or do you rotate DH between Kelenic, Fraley, Haniger and Lewis? I guess if they add an infielder, Frazier could see time in the outfield as well making Haniger even more expendable (assuming you’re getting a starter or something else you could use).
I think we keep Haniger for this year and see how things go. Could always offer a QO if he did as good as last year
Agreed. Maybe explore a mid-season extension if he stays healthy.
The one proven hitter in the outfield?
No, they keep him. Seattle has a slew of inexperience on their roster and Haniger is still very much a key to their success.
It’s not the end of the world if they are unable to extend him and he simply walks. They don’t need to worry about the farm.
If there wasn’t so much injury concern with Lewis, I’d say it’d be worthwhile to at least kick the tires on a potential Haniger trade. But, echoing what another commenter said, dealing your most sure-fire hitter could be a good way to take the wind out of Seattle’s sails — and that’s just from a production standpoint.
It has to be assumed that on a relatively young squad, Haniger is one of the M’s primary leaders.
Keep Haniger. Deal from the minors unless you are somehow getting an upgrade back in the deal
Service time manipulation ? How many games did Bryant miss while a cub? Those didn’t go against him. Only thing owners have in their favor . Jason Heyward could opt out buy Cubs stuck with his contract . Bet he feels bad and wants to give some back ?
What are you saying?
So a worker getting injured on the job should get docked service time? That would result in players being much more cautious and hesitant, which would lead to a less exciting game.
Chipper's Illegitimate Kid Steve Nebraska Put a Hurtin' on WAR Hammer
Why do people put a space after the end of a sentence before the period or question mark, etc. I don’t understand it. Maybe English isn’t Grady’s first language, because there isn’t much in this comment that makes any sense. But a lot of times it seems like the world doesn’t make much sense anymore. So maybe this comment sums up the new normal or something.
Agree 100%, Mikel.
Is a contract like Heyward’s part of the risk owners face? No one forced the Cubs to sign him.
The OWNERS’ only ‘advantage’ is service time- which isn’t remotely manipulated to the extent that the players think it is. The grown “men” who play a game with a stick and a ball and mittens for a living 7-8 months per year for millions of dollars- average salary of more than $4 million and an entry level salary more than 3 times the amount that the average career doctor earns and lifetime benefits after 6 weeks on a MLB roster. Enough of the players’ garbage, tired of them.
You’re overlooking the owners’ franchise value growth measured in the billions. And the owners wouldn’t get that benefit or any other baseball revenues without those grown men (I don’t understand the quotes around that word) playing the game. Comparing player salaries to doctors’ is a false equivalency. MLB is an $11B industry. The players/product are looking to get their cut.
(I don’t understand the quotes around that word)
Consider bryce harper and manny machado and carlos correa. Their personalities are largely representative of what you will see in MLB and bryce harper and manny machado and carlos correa are about the furthest possible thing from being a man. They are *not* men.
Okay, manly man…
Let the bootlicker lick the boots. He’s probably the first in line to whine and cry about ownership and upper management in whatever menial line of “work” “he” does/did, but “he” is also the first in line to come to ownership’s defense when it comes to their BILLIONS of dollars in profit (as if it were there ONLY stream of revenue). Boot lickers gonna lick.
Laughable. You wouldn’t say that within a hundred feet of any of their faces. A real man doesn’t question the manhood of someone they’ve never met from behind a keyboard
So not hating the owners makes you a “bootlicker”? Seems to me that it’s those with the weakest arguments that resort to name calling. Can’t compare this to a normal job. Most workers aren’t looking for a share in the profits, they’re looking to make a living. Players are millionaires fighting for more millions. Nothing at all like what normal unions and workers fight for. Not even close.
If you think MLB is a bigger industry than the medical industry, you haven’t thought about it much. The relevancy of how much the owners are making just does not apply to a worker who is extremely well compensated. If the players wish to sign with a different league, they will discover what non MLB players get, and won’t be happy with that either.
In negotiations, most unions are highly interested in employer revenues and financial standing. A union would be remiss in overlooking that information in negotiations.
Cosmo2, I agree that baseball is very much unlike most other professions. Of course, im most other professions, the workers are not also the product.
gbs42: “of course in most other professions the workers are not also the product.” Who cares? The point is that a labor dispute where one side is looking for a fairness defined by necessity and dignity is completely different from a dispute where fairness is defined as one side collecting supposedly due riches upon an abstract principle. The players are already rich. If by some principle, they are supposedly entitled to a larger cut of revenues, I just don’t care. That takes it way out of the realm of traditional labor dispute and just becomes rich people arguing about who deserves to be richer. And that is not in any way comparable to normal disputes between actual workers and management.
In most union negotiations, the members aren’t making HALF A MILLION as minimum. I remember when unions fought for living wages and job protection, and better working conditions. Better benefits.
In response to union demands, management often counters with bleak reports of the company’s revenues and financial standing.
The overall health of the enterprise is always an issue in negotiations.
The easy answer is to just declare socialism for Baseball.
The states take over the teams – no owners then, and the states get all the profits from the TV revenue.
Salaries set at $50K when a player signs on with a team, and gets annual COLA increases every year they stay on a team. Bonuses for players that perform or graduate to the next level (extra rations or another paid meal or two).
All players can pick their city to play in.
And I guarantee ticket prices and beer prices eventually get lowered.
The average MLB career lasts 3 years, the median under 2. Put that together with most minor leaguers, many of whom don’t make as much as minimum wage and never get to the majors..
It’s not the players who are taking advantage….
I hear you! I somehow wish we could force a contraction of 5-10 teams or at least make them sell to someone who already owns a team. At least then a smaller amount of billionaires could really expand their wealth. Imagine how much better those 20 owners lives would be then. Instead they have to share with another 10 the meager untold millions they make. Sad the players want a share of the money. They should play for free! It’s a child’s game after all
Bookbook- Minor League players cant even afford to live on their own nor go out to eat at sit down restaurant! It’s shocking
The players union could expand their membership to include the MiLB players at any time. They don’t need to ask the owners to do it. Ask yourself why it hasn’t been done.
They are Devo
What could the MLBPU achieve by expanding their “membership” to include MiLB players? Why is it the MLBPU’s responsibility to take care of these future MLB players? Sure, its MLB players who play the game that generates income for their cutthroat Billionaires. But its the owners who control and administer the income.
Are you suggesting MLB players should share a % of their Yearly Salaries to the thousands of MiLB players? I fail to see your logic, in fact I have to assume your comment is meant for someone else because I can’t follow your logic. I have absolutely no idea what your comment means?
Btw heres a tasty morsel from the Mariners beat writer Ryan Divish- when thinking of Billionaire owners vs Millionaire players its important to remember the difference between a billion and a million.
“ In a time aspect, a million seconds is just about 12 days while a billion seconds is 31.5 years.”
Service time manipulation is a myth. Did they leave a roster spot empty? No. Someone is playing for the team and getting paid the same, or possibly more than, as the player being left in the minors.
If you sign a contract you live by the terms of it.
Service time manipulation is keeping a prospect down for 2 weeks to gain an extra year of control. Yes, someone is holding them that job, but that person is much less likely to be in line for a nine-figure salary once they hit free agency. Delaying that free agency by a year can have a huge impact on the players earning power.
Is the players union adding back the service time when the kid gets promoted to MLB and cannot hit his weight? No! Service time only works one direction even if he sat on the bench the entire time.
Service time is received for being on the big league roster, period. Do you expect pitchers to lose service time if they have a really bad game? Should a hitter not get service time for a game if he goes 0-for-5 with 4 Ks, or if he has a five-game hitless streak?
You can’t be arguing that mlb teams don’t keep surefire prospects down (at the very least to convince them to sign extensions) until after super two often and to gain the extra year on most position players and often starting pitchers. Rp’s usually are gone, cut or traded before they reach all arbitration.
Ohyyeadam- Do you know what service time manipulation is? When a team doesn’t bring up a player until about a month into the season so they can have him for another for another year before he reaches free agency.
A bit of Mariners news makes me want to have a baseball season!
But greedy, selfish people is what we’ve got, folks. You see them everywhere. That’s all we have.
I will say it seems clear Seattle has slow-played Rodriguez on purpose, but that he and Kirby haven’t played in AAA should kill the service time argument.
Of course, that leads to the question of whether they were held back from Triple-A as part of a long-term service time manipulation plan.
That’s what I am saying about Rodriguez, but that’s hard to prove either way.
Kelenic and Gilbert didn’t play in AAA before last season either. Kirby has had small injury issues and didn’t even pitch 70 innings last year and Julio is only 21 and missed an entire year of progression due to no minor league season in 2020
the first sentence is why I always thought the argument with them was silly as well.
How is that? He skipped low-A, he suffered a significant wrist injury in West Virginia, yet still made his way to AA last season–and dominated (in a small sample) after also dominating high-A–at age 20.
There has been nothing slow about his ascent.
IDK about Rodriguez being slow played. He missed a year of minor league ball due to Covid and moved from high A to AA pretty quick last year. He only turn 21 a month and a half ago.
They both dealt with injuries and a lost season.
Can he play CF? Asking for a Phriend…
I’ve asked the same Q. I hear more of a strong arm RF.
Were it not for injuries to Kyle Lewis Kelenic would have spent most of the year in AAA. He clearly wasn’t ready to play CF or hit MLB pitching. That is why they had to send him back down to Tacoma. Service time manipulation works both ways. In Kelenic’s case they started his clock a year early. With Julio they may do they same. He hasn’t played in AAA and has only 46 games in AA but the talent is undeniable.
Haniger could be extended at the right price to serve as the DH and ocasional RF; while deploying Kelenic in LF, Lewis in CF and Rodríguez in RF
France at 1B, Frazier at 2B, Crawford at SS and that leaves 3B as an upgrade zone ! Possibly SS too !
I don’t think Seattle is looking to upgrade at SS.
Don’t you think its risky to put lewis in CF with his knee issues?
everyone is giving Haniger a hard time about his D. Which in 21′ is understandable. The guy just came off surgeries around his groin area. His D before was pretty good. Before we dump him into the DH spot, let hope he regains some of the athleticism he had before.
To allow Haniger to walk after 22′, the young OF’s would need to take big steps forward. If not, it would be 2 steps back to allow a middle of the order hitter to leave
Rushing a player to the bigs when they’re not ready can be a huge mistake. The jump from AAA to the majors is quite a leap. Teams are especially careful with their top prospects. A player’s confidence as to whether he belongs there can be fragile. Last season Kelenic struggled early on and often looked anguished. This super confident kid all the sudden is facing the best pitchers in the world, one after another, and often looked out of his depth. We M’s fans were so excited to see this guy and after a month or so many of us were a little worried. He came on toward the end and we can’t wait to see what he’ll become. Always remember Yogi Berra’s famous quote, “Baseball is 90% mental, the other half is physical.”
As Shannon Drayer has mentioned several times, Julio Rodriguez could very well end up in CF if Seattle doesn’t find a true center fielder, and if that’s the case, they may want to give him more time in the minors to get comfortable there. That’s probably not Plan A, but it certainly couldn’t be worse than what they got defensively out of center last season.
Bryant would be a great short-term fit for Seattle. I just question if it makes sense to tie up 7-8 years knowing his defensive role won’t be clear after 2-3 years. As I’ve mentioned before, Chapman would make a lot more sense with Marte potentially taking over in 2024, but if elite prospects are needed to land anyone via trade, Seattle may have little choice but to splurge now if they have any hope to contend.
What they can’t do is bank on breakouts from multiple, young players to stabilize their offense.
First off, obviously if Kelenic had been promoted early it wouldn’t have made a difference. Also, I know for a fact they tried to sign him to an extension and if he had signed he would have made the team right out of camp. Finally, they call this “manipulation” but it’ was collectively bargained. if you don’t want teams taking advantage of something that was agreed to, then either change the rules or sign early. I have no sympathy for players who had to wait 6 weeks or whatnot to debut.
The owners will find and use loop holes
Maybe we try and trade for Keirmier? I might have spelled that wrong. Only one year left on his deal so he would cost much and is a top 3 defensive center fielder in the league. Obviously his bat isn’t great (so we also try and sign Bryant or someone else) but he would solve the “we don’t have a true center fielder” problem for the time being. Again, I don’t think he’d cost that much.
*wouldn’t cost that much
Seattle needs impact-bats. Kiermaier (Lorenzo Cain as well) would make sense if they failed to land Suzuki, but they’re probably prioritizing offense.
Does Suzuki play a solid centerfield? If he does then yeah lets go all in and try to bring him in. But if he’s a “corner outfield guy” where his defensive metrics go down when he’s in center I would honestly be opposed to signing him.
He had the strongest arm on the Carp. They didn’t need him in CF, they needed him in RF, but he has the athleticism to handle CF. If he signs with Seattle, you can expect him to play center. Seattle had the worst CF defense in the league. They would have nowhere to go but up.
If they don’t get him, perhaps they consider a trade for Kiermaier or Cain, but I don’t think either one would be used in a regular role once Julio’s up.
You do realize right that Suzuki played corner outfield (RF) not center, and that with the numerous articles on this web site (MLB Traderumors) it has never been mentioned that “they needed him in RF” with is why he didn’t play center for the Carp….
Every question raised by anyone discussing his abilities questions whether he can truly translate to a CF’er….where did you get this info about what the Carp’s needs were and his “sure” ability in your opinion to more than adequately play center field for the M’s?
I literally posted links and cited sources in comments in previous posts. I did my homework and it actually started a couple of years ago while following Tetsuto Yamada.
But what part of “He had the strongest arm on the Carp. They didn’t need him in CF, they needed him in RF, but he has the athleticism to handle CF.” wasn’t clear?
And if that isn’t obvious enough, try asking yourself why Seattle would have interest in him when they literally have 5 corner outfielders (Kelenic, Rodriguez, Lewis, Haniger, and Fraley) either in MLB, or near-ready.
Seattle has a lot of inexperience in the corners, but it makes little sense for them to pursue a right fielder who is incapable of moving around.
Still not enough? How about a quote from Jerry Dipoto himself…
“We think [Suzuki] is athletic enough to do a lot of different things,” Dipoto said. “And the wonderful thing about our outfielders is they’ve all played every position. All of them have experience playing a variety of different positions. So, we mix and match, get as much talent — you want to get as much talent as you can.”
Suzuki is more athletic than the players Seattle currently has for the OF. He has the speed that Kelenic and Haniger don’t have, doesn’t have the health concerns Lewis has, and I shouldn’t have to get into Fraley. Rodriguez may very well play some center, but he has limited experience there himself and may not start the season with the MLB club.
He did play center for the Carp. He came up to NPB in 2015 following two years in the Japanese minors as an infielder. His bat was the tool that got him promoted. He was put in RF because the Carp had All-Star Yoshihiro Maru at center field. Maru would play four more years before becoming a free agent and joining the Yomiuri Giants. At that time Giants CF Hisayoshi Chono came to the Carp and became the regular CF. While a good CFer, due to his age Chono only played in half the games in 2019-2021
Japanese outfielders are noted for their ability to throw and run. They practice all three outfield spots and are more interchangeable than MLB players. The corner outfield spots in Japan are not noted for being exclusive power bats. The outfielders are all excellent defenders. By the time Maru left the Carp, Seiya Suzuki was well established as the regular RF’er with 3 gold gloves and 4 Best Nine awards. Japanese statistics do not track which of the three OF positions a player occupies. He can play CF. You won’t find stats on how many games he had in RF, either.
According to Baseball Reference, Seiya Suzuki in 2014 played his only game in center field.
That’s it for his professional career.
… and according to Baseball Reference Seiya Suzuki played 888 games in the OF and only 18 games in RF. The Japanese no longer keep track by position. They appear to have stopped doing that in 2014.
They don’t distinguish the specific positions after 2014, but what AlienBob said was right. They move their players around a bit for familiarity and Maru was just fine in center most of the time. Suzuki had the strongest arm, so why wouldn’t they use him in RF most of the time?
It’s weird that some people are determined to dismiss the notion that he could handle center. He has the tools/skills. Heck, Ichiro moved to CF in 2007 and won a Gold Glove. He was 32 or 33 at the time. Seiya is 27.
Thank you for the clarification.
I might add that the dimensions of Mazda stadium in Hiroshima is almost exactly the same as T-Mobile Park. Both are 400 feet to CF and 328 down the RF line. Seiya Suzuki will not need to get used to odd dimensions such as in Boston. Even the foul ball area is very similar to what he is used to.
if they bring in suzuki or keirmier- who loses playing time? If either plays CF, they kelnic moves to left, haniger in right. Lewis-mostly DH. Fraley- really no spot for him. Rodriguez? what happens when he gets the call? To add Suzukio or Kiermaier would be nice, but big log jam. BUt the question is still: who is the best CF out of the current bunch of players??? Lewis’s knee would be to risky.
Nobody. Right now they have a hole, as Lewis’ is still a question mark and Rodriguez isn’t on the team (yet). Fraley is a fourth outfielder and they use him mostly against RHPs.
There is no logjam yet, but someone like Kiermaier or Cain would probably slide into a reserve role once Julio’s up. If Lewis proves healthy enough to handle the field occasionally, good! Fraley has options. Having depth wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Stevil, you don’t bring in a vet OF making 12 or $18M to be a reserve OF(unless your dodgers or Yankees) yes, Seattle would only take on a portion of their salary. But, still either them would make a lot jam.
DH, Lewis(+occasional play in LF)
If Lewis is getting alot of ab’s at DH, Torrens loses ab’s cuz Murphy plays because of his game Management. Torrens got very few games behind the plate towards the end of last year.
*Rodriguez gets the call, then who loses AB’s? Cain or keirmaier would be expensive 4th OF.
Logjam in the outfield.
Who says they’d be paying that entire salary–or acquiring just one player?
You shouldn’t worry about someone like Torrens losing PAs. Raleigh isn’t ready, and even if he was, they need depth. Same applies to the outfield. We don’t know that Kelenic is on track. Julio has yet to debut. Even Lewis is a question mark if healthy. He only has 464 PAs over 3 seasons.
But really, your main concern is someone losing PAs and what you might be paying a veteran center fielder!? Again, it’s not a 1-9 thing. They have to be deep. That was one of their weaknesses last season (and in 2020).
@Blff – Torrens will not get behind the plate much and the hope(@least for me) is Cal Raleigh grabs the reins as the primary catcher with Murphy only getting the back up backstop duties. From when I have been reading they plan on making Torrens play some OF and having him pinch hit, 3rd, 1st, and DH.
Also, I don’t think we can count on Lewis playing more than 90 to 100 games in the OF. I hope he proves me wrong.
the problem with signing/trading for a OF; with haniger, kelnic, lewis, fraley, and a sign/trade OF, and soon to be Rodriguez- who’s the odd man(or 2) out. They can use the DH spot to rotate 4.That list has 6. Assuming all the young guys put of good #s, haniger and fraley are-out. Evento he’ll be 32, sure hate to lose haniger and his middle of the order bat(after 22′).
They’re not just trying to fill out a lineup 1-9. They’re trying to create solid depth, both on the MLB roster, and in reserve.
Good teams have options due to injury, fatigue, etc.
If we sign Suzuki then Haniger is trade bait unless there is an injury.
I doubt that.
He’s the lone, proven veteran in the field. Seattle isn’t likely going to move him.
Trading for Keirmaier is meant to have a plus center field defender on the roster. The minute Julio comes up you can make Keirmaier the fourth outfiielder to play elite defense from time to time. What are Frayley’s defensive metrics in center?
That’s the issue we have for center. I don’t want to see 140 plus games of Kelenic, Haniger, Rodriguez in center. The defensive metrics for those guys in Center are no bueno. Of course if all three of them or mashing then yeah – one of them is going to play center. If Suzuki can be a solid defender and hit which sounds like he does then go get him.
Fraley isn’t a good center fielder. He isn’t really a good fielder. But he offers excellent PAs (as does Moore). I really wonder how much they’re willing to shake up the lineup and boost the defense.
The “middle-of-the-order bat” reference to Mitch Haniger is curious because last year Haniger batted second in 109 games, leadoff in 32 games, third in 8 games and cleanup in 8 games.
Six teams have never won it all. Which team will get it done first?
Brewers or Rays have the best chance imo
4 of those teams are in their window so at least one is likely to break thru.
Haniger would be a natural for the Giants if they don’t sign Suzuki.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Mariners lineup on opening day be:
2B Adam Frazier
SS J.P. Crawford
DH Kyle Lewis
RF Mitch Haniger
1B Ty France
LF Jarred Kelenic
3B Abraham Toro
C Luis Torrens
CF Taylor Trammell
Rodriguez will probably be up in short order but barring changes to service time probably doesn’t make the opening day roster
You should be surprised if that’s their opening day lineup.
2.Fraizer(low k rate, bat on the ball hitter)
@ C, Murphy over Torrens(defense and game calling)
9. Trammell- if he can hit just a little bit,
Torrens is not going to be the primary or even back up catcher. His primary role will likely be as a pinch hitter, 3B, and 1B. They are going to work him in the OF when/if spring training begins.
Raleigh isn’t ready. He’ll have a chance to show improved process in spring, but right now Torrens probably is one of Seattle’s two opening day catching options.
I don’t agree. Torrens will not get many chances @ catcher next year. They needed a solid back up last year and he only started 32 games and came in 3 other games. He’s a terrible pitch framer and at best an average arm.
Torrens value is his bat, that is why they are looking to have him play in the OF. M’s most likely split the catching duties between Murphy and Raleigh, Cal needs to get to build the relationship with the pitching staff and is a far better defensive C than either Murphy or Torrens.
Raleigh will be the Opening Day catcher.
1 Crawford SS
2 Frazier 2B
3 France 1B
4 Haniger RF
5 Torrens DH
6 Kelenic CF
7 Toro 3B
8 Fraley LF
9 Raleigh C
Without new signings, I think this is most probable. At least two players shy. Maybe Julio fills one hole before too long, and maybe Toro grows to fill the other.
I don’t think Raleigh starts the season with Seattle. Lewis is probably the DH (there’s new video of him batting), though that’s subject to change.
They can’t get away with that lineup. They really need 2 impact-bats.
Higher likelihood Torrens is in Tacoma than Raleigh to start the season.
First, you’re confusing Torrens with Toro. Toro is expected to get OF reps, not Torrens.
Second, Dipoto already stated they intend to use Torrens in the infield and at catcher.
Last, Torrens doesn’t have options. He can’t start the season in Tacoma.
I’m a fan of Raleigh, but he simply isn’t ready offensively or defensively. The catching from a knee experiment is a work in progress, his 46.7 O-Swing has to improve and he has to stop trying to pull everything.
If he’s on the opening day roster, it will likely be because Torrens was traded.
Considering the season Kelenic had in 2021, probably not a great example to use for trying to make that point…
Sewald is a prime flip candidate, maybe as part of a larger package. Seattle has some good depth with Giles and Munoz returning.
He really isn’t. Giles and Muñoz missed the entire season (Muñoz with a brief appearance at the end) and Castillo looked different than he did with Tampa.
Sewald is the anchor. I wouldn’t bet on him going anywhere.
Now’s the time to do it, while he’s at the height if his value. Plus, Servais rode him hard down the stretch, so that concerns me, as far as his health goes.
Yeah, I disagree, and you’re likely going to be disappointed. They don’t need to sell high on anyone. They have the number 1 farm and they’re trying to snap a 20-year postseason drought. Moving their best players makes zero sense.
I would think that too if I didn’t suspect regression. They don’t need to sell high, but that’s what smart teams do if they get a good offer for a reliever.
Haniger will be extended shortly after the lockout. 3 yrs 60 mil through ‘25 with maybe a cute player friendly option?