Cleaning House
Why, Who, When, What, How, Where Dept.

.

WHAT

Is Mitch Haniger gone too?  Here's an article from Sodo Mojo that discusses the state of affairs.  The idea isn't that they're so accurate it's as if they have an "In The Know" connection; the idea is that Haniger is available at all.

Haniger in 2018 hit .285/.366/.493 and had 4.6 WAR, making him upper-crust in OBP and in SLG both.  This is what we're hoping for from Jerred Kelenick, our prized top-100 prospect, in three years.  Nobody can argue his 50th-percentile is higher than .366 and .493.

Maniger's earliest free agency is in 2023.  Let's tick that off:  2019 ... 2020 ... 2021 ... 2022.  That's 4 years just until it's time to negotiate -- what an NCAA football coach gets from a freshman who just ran for 1,600 yards, except Haniger has one more year left.

Dipoto just swore that there exist a handful of Mariners who weren't going anywhere because "they're the kind of player we're trying to acquire, not get rid of."  Haniger was of course on this list, as was Marc-O; then again so was Eddie Diaz.

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WHERE

Sodo Mojo sez that the Dodgers offer the great matchup for a trade  --

Since we're trying so hard to shed Mitch Haniger.  :- /

Ryan Divish sez that the M's want 2 elite prospects to headline the package, preferably ML-ready with high floors -- if anything Jerry Dipoto's signature style preference, "high floor."  These two Dodger prospects could be OF Alex Verdugo and SP Dustin May, a guy with 4 decent pitches and "a chance to be a #3 starter."

.

WHEN

I think we would all agree that Dipoto is giving a ton of lip service to "be ready in three years," and is secretly hoping for an Oakland A's type sucker punch on the league next year.  Hence the enjoyable Harper and Machado articles we see.

On the other hand if we see a Haniger for spects move, that argues against...

.

WHO

Have you ever considered the persuasion job it took Jerry Dipoto to talk the ownership board into giving him a re-start after 2015?  I mean, if you want to re-imagine, pal, why didn't you bring this imagination with you three years ago?

Seriously.  Just a 3-year mulligan?  Think about it a moment.

.

HOW

The big question for me is one.

......

We're going to push to the side, for a moment, the theory that the locker room was SO crazy that every last one of those Tasmanian Devil troublemakers must be eradicated.  Many clubhouses -- in the NFL, NBA (!?) and MLB have been dysfunctioned; few have been torn limb-from-limb by their GM.  And how many suspect that James Paxton was back there putting chili powder in Kyle Seager's jock?

........

So, more reasonably:  why does Dipoto think this entire Operation Powerflush will work?  If *Dr. Detecto* were running this plan in a roto league the answer would be simple:  hubris.  I would simply assume that I could judge other teams' prospects better than they could.

Jarred Kelenic is valued by his old team at $0.85.  Whoop!  There's a guy I value at $0.95.  Let's churn, baby, churn.  And if I can pull off 20 positive churns, then --- > total domination.

You know me by now :- ) I'm not above mentioning that this actually happened the last several years we played fantasy.  Trade after trade, other teams giving up half-decent players who came through in the 2nd half.

.... of course, if Dr. D were running the Mariners, he wouldn't be competing with random internet schlubs.  Those other 29 MLB teams aren't patsies; they are state-of-the-art infomation companies, bristling with loaded saber weapons.  You are lucky enough to trade yourself into a Mitch Haniger, I'm not sure I'd be real quick to flip him away.

.

BABVA,

Dr D

Comments

1

It is not in the outfield that I'd want a prospect back.  The depth of the outfield is the reason I'd even consider it and have been recently arguing against bringing in Harper.

It's the infield that's barren in the upper minors, especially in the middle, but Catcher (2 early college '18 picks I just profiled a few conversations to the right are about it) and corner depth beyond White and kind of Rizzo.  They've got pitching and outfield talent.

People are specifically commenting to the author Colby to stop suggesting the Mariners acquire outfield prospects.  Kind of funny, it goes several articles back. 

2

I expected less MLB talent returning in deals.  It's hard to lose with this much talent on the roster.  With less Encarnacion and Bruce type returns it could have made more sense to move Marco and Mitch.  This team won't be chasing the top pick (where there still appears to be more competition than the wild card) and instead are still geared to win now.  This rotation could prove to be one of the better overall in the game, though I've not heard or read that yet elsewhere.  People will likely see before long. 

There's a foundation of younger players coming on in the next few years if things go right.  I'm afraid Dipoto is expecting more to go right than he should, although if he's right it's going to be fun.  Deja vu?  I'm all in on J-Rod and J-Kel dreams myself, just not sure if enough total players will progress enough.  I do really believe those 2 should be fun for a long time. 

3

I think that while Jerry would love to sucker punch the AL next year, he knows that too much of our talent pyramid is ~1-3 years away for us to expect them to ALL turn out to be 1 year away. We're also a year from escaping Felix's 28MM, and the 21.5MM we owe Edwin Encarnacion (assuming we can't trade him) plummets to 5MM. 8.5MM of Anthony Swarzak leaves, too. That's 53MM of free space heading into next offseason: add that to a year of prospect development, and 2020 looks like our year. 2021, if our prospects mature slowly and the right FAs don't bite in the first offseason. 14MM of Jay Bruce departs prior to 2021, as does 10MM of Mike Leake.

So you have Mitch for 4 years, but you're wasting 1, maybe two of them. Which by definition means that he is worth less to us than to someone else, someone competetive. For us he's worth .25 cents on the dollar next year, .75 in year two, and 1.00 in years three and four. So if he's worth 75% to us what he is to LAD, why not flip him for an easy profit?

Not saying he should go to LA of course, or that the proposed prospects represent full value for Mitch Haniger. Just saying Jerry's reasoning makes sense, if he finds the right deal.

4

Before figuring in why Dipoto says he wants to keep him.  I don't think many in the game work to prepare harder, this is the guy he wants the prospects to emulate.  If just one of them benefits, how much of their added value could we even guess at? 

5

Mitch certainly looks like a guy you want on a second contract. We'll be able to afford him, even as a FA, if we want to. I hope Jerry only flips him if he's absolutely blown away by the offer. If not, keep him and enjoy. I wonder what kind of deal we could work out in a year or two, some kind of discounted deal to buy out his first two or three FA years. Would Mitch do it? If he would, I can't imagine anyone more likely to be a rock-solid player six years from now.

6

Currently he'll turn 33 months before his first FA season.  Arbitration eligible in '20.  The Mariners get ages 29-32 for not much in comparison now.  I'd bet on Mitch and all but don't think the team has any need to yet.  That's why most teams would love to have him as-is.  His market value would drop if they signed him long term, although you shouldn't care right now.  Kelenic and Rodriguez coming up into an OF with Haniger is already doable.  If that's exactly the scenario you want then extending Haniger 2 or 3 years now makes sense.  I actually wonder if any team would currently.  He's already controlled for the 4 years they'd want the most.

Notice that JeDi just disposed of every "extended to team friendly" player he could, only getting stuck with Seager and Felix in his not so friendly final year.  If there was a 3b that seemed certain in the minors I'd expect Kyle to be gone within a year, but his contract alone isn't going to kill you as long as he continues to be a good % of the defender he has been.  I wonder if Jerry has soured on that type of deal entirely, after hearing in trade talks about how much they were all owed. 

7

Hey Sherminator!  One of the users over at LL (Goose), maintains an up-to-date payroll spreadsheet for the Ms up to 2025: 

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1G5Pl7Y-VRwN5-CmHRwe-8TWeAGTdlbhf...

As things currently stand, we have potentially $75m coming free next season, contingent on various team options not being picked up e.g. Edwin Encarnacion and Wade Leblanc.  Of course, if something creative can be done with Kyle Seager, Mike Leake and Jay Bruce (collectively owed around $45m next year), that figure could be even higher.

8

I'm firmly in the camp that Sherm and Wish are exploring: Mitch Haniger is unlikely ever to be worth more than he is today. If we could take a flyer on three promising starting pitchers, or two pitchers and a catcher, who are among a team's (with a deep farm system) top-ten players- I would jump at the chance to swap out MItch. I give him extra points for character: he certainly sounds like someone you might want to build around. But, we're sacrificing two years of value that could propel another team to a World Series, for which they may be willing to pay dearly. 

Toward that end, I find this quote from the Braves' GM today, on MLBTR, very encouraging: 

  • Most tantalizing, however, were Anthopoulos’s comments regarding one possible swap that’s evidently in the works. “There’s one trade concept right now that 70% of the deal we would agree to, the 30% is probably where we are going back and forth,” he said. “I don’t know if we are going to get it done, but the main piece of the deal I think we ultimately would be ok, it’s the add on.” Certainly, this not-yet-completed arrangement could involve any number of possible players, but it’s at least notable to learn that there could soon be some action.

I think Haniger may be "the missing link" for Atlanta, and they have several potential #1 starters (Soroka, Wright, Anderson) in their minors whom I'd love to see in teal, in 2021! Having waited 17 years to see the Mariners excel, I want to be sure the next time we "go for it", we GET THERE! 

9

could be 2 prospects vs. 3?  Someone at the MLB level that Dipoto wants?  The wording of "add on" makes me wonder, assuming it's Haniger, what add on it could be otherwise.  Jay Bruce or Healy maybe?  Gonzalez, Leake or LeBlanc?  That's assuming the M's are the partner, which seems very possible.  I thought Mitch and Marco would have been a perfect fit back in November. 

It's really the infield that's empty in the upper minors.  There's about 1 potential option at each position and no quality depth.  A couple potential aces sounds good but it's got to include some infield depth at least.  I'd prefer 1 ToR arm and a couple impact infielders, but it would depend on the specific players.

A part of my thinking early was that removing Haniger could have helped make 100 losses and a better pick more likely.  With that possibility seeming so unlikely now, I'm not as keen on trading Haniger.  This team is probably going to be around .500 even without him.  Hopefully they can keep snagging guys that inexplicably drop in the draft while other teams are being cute.  I sure don't miss the M's being one of those teams that wouldn't select the high rated pick so they could spread that money more.

I also think that a year from now Haniger could be the most sought after player in trade.  Give him one season of more consistent health and a step forward in production and his last 3 years of control look better than his current 4.

10

i was in a long time ago about seriously considering a Haniger trade. At the time I pointed out that the Dodgers were likely trade partners and Verdugo + + was a reasonable haul.  If DiPoto thinks we can win next season, with cash available to spend, the he should hang on to Haniger.  Anything beyond ’20 means he should be traded.

11

which aren't always specific enough, it seemed like the return offered was always a prospect short.  Remind you of every selling trade that's gone through this offseason?  Haniger, like everyone else, has a good chance of netting more in July. 

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