Chicago Cubs: Breaking down four potential outfield trade targets

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Mitch Haniger

We never seem to know what the Seattle Mariners are doing, but if there’s one thing we do know it’s that they don’t like to sit still. There have been signs over the past year that they’re willing to rebuild, and if that continues this offseason, they might be looking to part with the soon-to-be 29-year-old Mitch Haniger.

Haniger was on his way to becoming a star in 2018. He finished 11th in American League MVP voting, batting .285 with 26 home runs, 38 doubles, and 93 RBIs. However, he got off to a slow start in 2019, hitting just .220 before suffering a season-ending injury in June. He did hit 15 home runs, so Haniger could be a good source of power. However, with 2018 being his only full season, there’s not enough of a track record to know how good he’ll be going forward.

As far as defense, Haniger has seen significant time in both right and center field over the past couple of seasons, so as with Blackmon, the Cubs would have to decide where to put him and Heyward. The guess here is that Haniger would play right while Heyward would play center, as Heyward is the better defender. Haniger is not terrible on defense, however, posting a positive defensive WAR every year of his career.

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Haniger is under control team control through 2023 and would come cheap, plus the Mariners would be selling low on him so he wouldn’t cost as much in talent. Given the constraints of the Cubs’ budget this offseason, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they at least give the Mariners a call.