Mariners GM Says They Will Not Offer QO To Free Agent Slugger

The Seattle Mariners are expected to be players on the free agent market this winter, perhaps even for some of the big names available. But they also have an in-house issue to resolve, as they've decided not to offer their own slugger a qualifying offer, making him a free agent. 

Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto has confirmed that they won't offer outfielder Mitch Haniger the $19.65M QO. That does not mean that they don't want him back, however. Dipoto said they are "engaged in trying to bring him back."

“Obviously right now our corner outfield positions are somewhat unsettled, and how that combines with designated hitter is still something of a question,” Dipoto said recently. And as for Haniger specifically, he said the 31-year-old deserves a chance to test the free agent waters:

We love Mitch. He’s been a driver of building a process in our clubhouse. He works as hard as anybody in the league. He’s dealt with a lot of unfortunate injuries. He’s built up he put in his time and developed his credibility as a major league player, and deserves the opportunity that he gave himself, which is to go find out what the market will bear for him. We maintain interest, I think he has interest in coming back here, but I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk.

Haniger was only able to play 57 games this season, but he did hit 11 home runs. It's a far cry from the 39 HR he blasted in 2021, but a bad ankle sprain cut his season short this year. 

Photo: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports