The SF Giants outfield is probably the most fungible area on the roster. They have some adequate role players in Mike Yastzemski and Austin Slater, but they could look to make major upgrades as well. A recent rumor would represent an upgrade as the Giants have expressed interest in Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger.
Rumor: Could the SF Giants be interested in longtime Seattle Mariners outfielder?
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports (subscription required) that the former All-Star is drawing a lot of attention including from the Giants and the Texas Rangers. Jon Morosi of MLB.Com adds that the Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in Haniger as well.
On a lighter note, it would be nice of the Dodgers could find their own free-agent targets! Haniger's broad market is likely due in part to a stable track record of performance mixed in with some injury concerns.
MLB Trade Rumors is predicting a three-year, $39 million deal for the right-handed bat. And, that makes sense for Haniger given that he has appeared in under 80 games in three of the last four seasons. This includes missing the entire 2020 season.
When he is healthy, the 31-year-old outfielder has been quite productive. In six seasons, the longtime Mariner has registered a .261/.335/.476 line (123 OPS+) with an 8.9 percent walk rate against a 23.9 percent strikeout rate. He has eclipsed the 20-homer mark twice in his career including a 39-homer effort in 2021.
Haniger's numbers took a step back as he battled back and ankle injuries in 2022. The righty slashed .246/.308/.429 (114 OPS+) with 11 home runs, 34 RBI, and 31 runs in only 247 plate appearances. The durability problems are a concern, but the Giants have a high tolerance for injury risk as is.
It bears mentioning that Haniger is local to northern California as he attended Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California. He was selected in the 31st round of the 2009 draft by the New York Mets but he did not sign.
The front office has seemingly sought players will local ties, so Haniger checks that box. It would be nice if he brought another local product back to California as well.
Signing Haniger would raise the Giants' floor in the outfield, so he would be a meaningful upgrade. That said, the front office will need to make another signing in addition to Haniger to really make the outfield a potential strength on the 2023 roster.