Scott Servais sees Mitch Haniger as ‘anchor’ of Mariners’ rebuild: ‘He’ll be in a Mariner uniform for a while’
This offseason the Mariners have traded away four All-Stars, their ace starting pitcher and starting catcher. And considering how the returns in those trades have bolstered Seattle’s farm system and 40-man roster with young talent, there’s been speculation over whether soon-to-be 28-year-old right fielder Mitch Haniger could be the next trade chip used by general manager Jerry Dipoto.
Mariners manager Scott Servais is under the impression that won’t be the case.
“He’ll be in a Mariner uniform for a while,” Servais said when asked about Haniger while on MLB Now from the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Servais’ comments add some weight to the belief that Haniger will be around for the 2019 season, especially considering Dipoto said earlier this week that trade offers for Haniger to this point weren’t attractive enough to move the 2018 All-Star.
“There have been a handful of teams that have taken a handful of passes at Mitch,” Dipoto said, according to The Seattle Times. “We’re just not willing to go there. We’ve had a handful try, but they haven’t quite gotten to where we would even consider it.”
As for Servais, he said Haniger could be the “anchor” of the Mariners’ attempt contend in the years following a step back in 2019.
“Mitch is a very good player,” Servais said. “He’s got years of (team) control, there’s a lot to like about him going forward. From the seat that I sit in, certainly don’t want to lose Mitch.
“(He’s) somebody we could tie to and help our young players move forward.”
Haniger hit .285 with an .859 OPS, 26 home runs, 93 RBIs, 90 runs scored in 2018 while also flashing a strong arm and glove both in right and center field.