Well, it’s happening: Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz will be members of the Mets, pending physicals, according to multiple national reports. They’re leaving Seattle in a blockbuster trade and that means a lot.
The Mariners weren’t supposed to trade Diaz unless they were “super overwhelmed to consider a deal for him."
This “overwhelming deal” turned out to be the Mariners acquiring outfielder Jay Bruce plus prospects Jarred Kelenic, Anthony Swarzak, Justin Dunn, and Gerson Bautista.
With that said, it’s possible the Mariners are going to continue to do Mariner-like things at the hands of Jerry Dipoto. And we haven’t even arrived at the Winter Meetings yet.
Still, this doesn’t mean bad news, especially for Bay Area baseball fans. As bizarre as some of the trades the Mariners GM makes are, the Giants could use that to their advantage. That means an outfield that possesses Mitch Haniger, another Mariner who was thought to be out of trade talks but very well could be now.
For starters, the outfielder is a Bay Area-native which means he wouldn’t mind revisiting his old stomping grounds. He was born in Mountain View, attended Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, and went to Cal Poly.
Sure -- those are just the feel-good storylines that you put to a “homecoming” theme song during a video montage, but there’s more.
The Giants really need him
Another important reason would be the fact that well, the Giant are starving for outfielders like Dipoto is starving to make weird trades. So why not take advantage of it?
At the moment, the depth chart for the Giants looks as follows:
A bit young, right?
Yes, we know the “rebuilding” phrase is going to be used over and over again. But that doesn’t mean someone with years under his belt roaming the outfield and being one of the most underrated players in the league shouldn’t be considered. If anything, he’s needed.
[RELATED: Giants rebuild could be full year away]
No stranger to NL West
OK, before you get all in my mentions about how he performs at AT&T Park -- we don’t really know. It’s a ridiculously small sample size: Seven at-bats and nine plate appearances in two games. In those few outings, however, he did slash .286/.444/.286.
He played in 34 games with the D-backs in 2016. And while it’s still a relatively small sample size, it’s not like this will be a complete culture shock for him. He’s had enough time in the NL West to hopefully feel comfortable.
The FA outfield market … or lack thereof
Alex Pavlovic reminded us that the market for outfielders isn’t filled to the brim with moments to gather them up like a bushels of apples. So, in order to get the type of talent the team needs, it’s important to acquire the Haniger-types in deals like this.
And with the Hot Stove at a mere simmer, sometimes you have to light that baby yourself.
Would Dipoto be “overwhelmed” with a package centered around Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos or Shaun Anderson? Perhaps, but you never really know with Dipoto.
Ramos has the highest ceiling of any Giants prospect since Buster Posey -- so it goes without saying he’s good. Can the outfielder take the place of Haniger? Well yes, but not now. The 19-year-old still has a few years to be spent in the minor leagues, but it’s certainly something to think about.
The Mariners outfield will be just fine
Yes, the Mariners outfield situation would take a hit, but they’ve got plenty of talent covering space at Safeco.
Ben Gamel can come through in the clutch when he’s needed. The team has a hidden gem in Kristopher Negron, and Mallex Smith is fast and dominates defensively when he’s playing right field. And remember -- the team is getting Jay Bruce.
So, perhaps -- see you soon, Mitch Haniger?