What could the addition of Teoscar Hernández mean for Mitch Haniger?
With the addition of Teoscar Hernández on Wednesday morning, the Mariners have added to their lineup in a big way. There is still more work to be done on this roster, but does Mitch Haniger still fit?
After Wednesday morning’s roster addition the Mariners have solidified a piece of their outfield for next season with Teoscar Hernández. The way things currently sit Seattle has Hernández, Julio Rodríguez, Jesse Winker, and Jarred Kelenic as its most likely options.
While the first two are lineup locks, there are a ton of questions about Winker and Kelenic and whether or not they will even be on the Mariners’ roster in 2023. Kelenic should likely be a fourth or fifth outfielder to start the year, and Winker has his own very obvious question marks. Could Mitch Haniger be in play for Seattle still?
Let’s take a look at the information we have. First of all just because Haniger and Hernández are similar players doesn’t preclude Seattle from having both on the roster.
The players are similar, and they both primarily play right field albeit at a below-average level defensively. Both of these players have impact bats when healthy and could still have fits on this team.
Last week I wrote an article that talked about the front office and their comments pertaining to Mitch Haniger at the GM Meetings. I had also heard that the Mariners and Haniger had a “genuine” interest in a reunion. This is a real interest and something that the Mariners likely were motivated to do before the trade.
The Mariners knew coming into this offseason that they needed to get better and that likely meant adding multiple players at different positions. They likely needed two outfielders added to this roster anyways, especially if they deal Jesse Winker.
Corner outfield is a huge need, and we know Seattle will not stop until they have four “full time” players in the outfield to cycle through the designated hitter role. While Haniger and Hernández are similar they can both exist on this roster.
At the time of the GM meetings, the Mariners had to know they had a shot at the Blue Jays outfielder, all the while having discussions with Haniger and his agent. Just because they both play primarily right field does not mean the fit does not exist. Hernández has played a decent amount of left field and with Haniger on the roster both players would DH enough for the positions not to matter much.
In addition, Justin Hollander’s quote today wraps this all up. The Mariners know they need to get more dangerous offensively, and they aren’t concerned with adding both players into the mix.
The mutual interest seems to still be there. Seattle’s next moves may give us a clearer picture, but for now I still believe we will see Mitch Haniger back in Seattle next season.