SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners tender contracts to 34 for 2021 season, including Mitch Haniger

Dec 2, 2020, 2:40 PM

Mariners Mitch Haniger...

Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger hasn't played since June 2019. (Getty)

(Getty)

The Mariners have announced that they have “tendered 2021 contracts to 34 players on their Major League roster” ahead of Wednesday’s 5 p.m. non-tender deadline. Among the tenders, as expected, are the Mariners three-arbitration eligible players: Mitch Haniger, Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford.

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The Mariners’ 40-man roster is at 39, as five players were already under contract for the 2020 season

Haniger is second-year eligible after avoiding arbitration in his first year, agreeing to a $3.01 million contract for 2020.

He has not played since June 2019 when surgery was required to repair a ruptured testicle, which was followed by setbacks that included both sports hernia surgery and a discectomy in a three-week span in late January and February. Haniger spent the 2020 season rehabbing from the surgeries and recently has resumed baseball activities.

At Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto’s meeting with the media at the end of the season, he indicated he was moving forward with plans for 2020 assuming Haniger would be ready to go in spring training. Both the video above and today’s agreement would appear to be a good sign that the right fielder remains on track to make his return next season.

Crawford and Murphy are both first-year arbitration eligible and coming off very different 2020 seasons. Murphy, who was expected to be Seattle’s No. 1 catcher, missed all 60 games after suffering a broken bone in his left foot in a summer camp intrasquad game, while Crawford won the American League Gold Glove at shortstop.

Teams and arbitration-eligible players now have until Jan. 15 to exchange proposed salaries and can negotiate up until salary arbitration hearings, which will be scheduled in early February.

In a “normal” year we would have a good idea of ballpark figures for all arbitration-eligible players but of course nothing has been normal about 2020 – the year or season. As such, much uncertainty surrounds arbitration and how salaries will be determined following a shortened season. Also of intrigue, non-tenders from other clubs who will join the free agent market. The number is expected to be greater than in past years.

Up next on the baseball calendar, the MLB Winter Meetings, which will be held virtually this year. The meetings will take place Dec. 7-10 with the Roberto Clemente Award announced Dec. 7 and Rule 5 Draft taking place Dec. 10.

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