Mariners GM Addresses Future Of Free Agent Mitch Haniger

The Seattle Mariners have a big decision to make on free agent Mitch Haniger this offseason. A bad ankle sprain kept the slugger out of the lineup for over three months this season, but when healthy, he's generally been a rock—and a former All-Star—for the Mariners over his five years with the team.

From listening to general manager Justin Hollander, the team is certainly interested in bringing him back, but it doesn't sound like a slam dunk that Haniger will return. 

"I think everyone would like to see us find a way to find common ground with Mitch, but players work a long time to get to free agency. It's really hard to get six years of service to get there.

"And I know Mitch, as much as he wants to be here, he also wants to gauge what else is out there, so we'll keep talking."

Hollander repeated that he really likes what Haniger brings to the Mariners, and they will continue to have dialogue even as the player weighs his free agency options.

"I have a great relationship with Adam, Mitch's agent, as does Jerry (Dipoto), and we'll just keep talking. I think that's the best answer I can give you because we do love what he brings to the table. I think everyone in our group would identify Mitch as the guy who prepares himself for the moment as much as anybody and that is a positive cultural thing that really has value. We'll weigh that as we get into the offseason."

Haniger played just 57 games this season, batting .246 with a .736 OPS, along with 11 HR and 34 RBIs. In his five years in Seattle, he has a .263 average, .817 OPS with 107 home runs. 

Photo: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports