The Toronto Blue Jays should pursue outfielder Mitch Haniger from the Seattle Mariners as they attempt to solidify their outfield for the 2020 campaign.
The Seattle Mariners are rumoured to be shopping outfielders as they have a plethora of viable outfield options who can produce at the MLB level. So perhaps, the opportunity is there for the Blue Jays to pry Mitch Haniger out of Seattle without selling the farm.
Haniger will not come cheap and will surely cost a top prospect, however, the outfielder is only 28-year old and a year removed from a .285/.366/.493 season in which he connected for 26 homers and a 6.1 WAR rating,
The outfielder had an injury-riddled season in 2019 that included a ruptured a testicle that required surgery and a wonky back that lingered for the remainder of the second half of the season. With all of that, Haniger still managed to hit 15 home runs in 63 games but saw his batting average dip to .220.
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Haniger won’t get a taste of free agency until 2023, so he would fit into the Blue Jays longterm plans and his multiple years of control make him valuable enough to squander prospects to obtain.
The Jays are currently heading into next season with the likes of Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Teoscar Hernandez and Randal Grichuk as their outfield defenders. The potential acquisition of Haniger would definitely add some legitimacy to the outfield dynamic and force Hernandez into a fourth outfield/DH role.
The asking price would in all likelihood be steep but the Jays have the minor league depth to pull it off. A trade package highlighted with Simeon Woods Richardson and Richard Urena could at least get the two sides talking.
The Blue Jays need to think outside the box this offseason and Haniger could be just the type of deal the brain trust should explore.