3 Seattle Mariners who won’t be back next season

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Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners nearly ended their postseason drought this year, but these three players won’t be back in 2022.

The Seattle Mariners went 90-72 this season, and they were in the chase for a Wild Card spot right to the end. But ultimately, the longest playoff drought in the four major North American sports extended to 20 seasons.

The future is bright in Seattle, with a solid pipeline of prospects to fortify the major league roster. In September, president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto promised to be more active in free agency. And we know he has never met a trade he wouldn’t entertain since coming to Seattle.

The Mariners have relatively little in terms of locked-in payroll commitments for 2022, even accounting for arbitration raises and options on a couple of key players. So they are in a position to spend.

Some pieces of this year’s near-playoff team will not be back next year. In particular, these three players will not be in a Mariners’ uniform on Opening Day 2022.

3 Seattle Mariners players who won’t be back next season

3. Mitch Haniger, OF

Haniger had a fantastic 2021 campaign, with 39 home runs, 100 RBI and a .804 OPS (122 OPS+).  After missing all of last season, that became the second-highest home run total by someone who did not play the previous season.

In 2019, Haniger only played 63 games. In four full major league seasons he’s played at all, he has played 100 games twice now. So this offseason may be a sell-high opportunity, and Dipoto surely recognizes it.

The Mariners have the makings of a strong outfield for years to come. 2020 Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis was derailed by injuries this year, but he’s not going anywhere. Jarred Kelenic had a rough start upon making his debut this year but ended up with passable numbers in his first taste of major league pitching (.265, .350 OPS, 14 home runs, 28 extra-base hits over 377 plate appearances). Top prospect Julio Rodriguez is sure to make his big league debut next season.

Haniger will turn 31 in December, and he’s arbitration-eligible for the last time this offseason. Other teams may have interest in trading for him, and Dipoto will certainly listen when calls come.

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