OF, Mitch Haniger
Mitch Haniger is a legitimate outfielder in the big leagues. He put together a 4.6 WAR season and posted a .859 OPS. He has a career slugging of .483 and has posted a very high OBP the last two seasons, his first two full seasons in baseball. 70 walks, 26 homers, Haniger is the type of outfielder the Giants absolutely need. There is no injury history with him, and he’s an XBH machine. Haniger is a Moutain View native, and a Cal Poly graduate.
Why wouldn’t he be a trade candidate? Well, the Mariners likely want to hang on to him because, to be fair, 4 WAR outfielders are hard to come by. Only 11 outfielders in baseball posted a 4 WAR season in 2018 and Haniger’s was ranked seventh. He’s only 27 and is a solid piece to build around for them. This means he’ll likely cost a lot, and make it difficult for the Giants to find a good trade. So what type of deal could the Giants make for him? Let’s take a look at some precedent:
The Christian Yelich trade might be the closest thing to precedent considering the case the Marlins were in then, and what the Mariners are trying to do. However, Yelich at that point was a much stronger “sure thing” than what Haniger is. I get Haniger is solid, but Yelich was a budding star, who blossomed in the second half with the Brewers. Haniger could very well be a budding star, but he’s 27 and has only been in the league for two full seasons. So what should the Giants offer?
I’d go with an MLB ready talent if I was them, or someone remotely close to big league ready. I’m sure they want pitching, so you could give them some combo of Chris Stratton and Chris Shaw. Throw in two lower level prospects and the Giants could land Haniger. The question is whether or not trading Shaw and Stratton is worth the return in Haniger. Honestly, I think they could end up landing Haniger for slightly less, but Haniger would be a massive upgrade to one of the corner outfield spots.