Dodgers Free Agency Rumors: Mitch Haniger Interest

The Los Angeles Dodgers roster has several needs at this stage of the offseason, including in the outfield after their decision to non-tender Cody Bellinger and make him a free agent.

That’s seemingly created an opening in center field that may be filled by some combination of James Outman, Chris Taylor and Trayce Thompson, or potentially by re-signing Bellinger. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman confirmed the club’s interest in keeping Bellinger part of the organization.

Meanwhile, agent Scott Boras said Bellinger has received multi-year contract offers but is likely to only sign a deal for 2023.

As the Dodgers explore all options, they reportedly are among the teams interested in Seattle Mariners free agent Mitch Haniger, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network:

Prior to the Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels, the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers were said to have interest in Haniger as well.

The 31-year-old was a candidate to be extended the $19.65 million qualifying offer but the Mariners ultimately decided against doing so.

After making his MLB debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016, Haniger has spent the past six seasons with the Mariners. However, he did not play in 2020.

Mitch Haniger stats

The former All-Star outfielder batted .246/.308/.429 with eight doubles, 11 home runs, 34 RBI and a 113 wRC+ this past season. However, he only played in 57 games due to a high ankle sprain and two-week stint on MLB’s COVID injured list.

A ruptured testicle and torn adductor limited Haniger to 63 games in 2019 and he missed the entire next year. Upon returning for a full season in 2021, he hit .253/.318/.485 with 39 homers.

There’s some belief Haniger will be among the batters who benefit by MLB implementing a limit on defensive shifts.

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