The SF Giants made a sizable addition to the lineup on Tuesday, No, it was not the outfielder that many fans had hoped, but the Giants did add an All-Star outfielder in Mitch Haniger. It is a three-year, $43.5 million pact with an opt-out clause after the 2024 season.
SF Giants sign middle-of-the-order threat to a 3-year, $43.5 million deal
Haniger should slot into the middle of lineup, giving the Giants some length to go along with Joc Pederson, Wilmer Flores, and J.D. Davis. It is no secret that adding Aaron Judge would totally change the dynamic of the lineup, but Haniger is a solid addition assuming that the Giants have at least one more move up their sleeze.
Haniger is local to the Bay Area as he attended Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, California. The Milwaukee Brewers originally selected the right-handed bat in the first round of the 2012 draft out of Cali Poly - San Luis Obipso.
Milwaukee traded Haniger along with pitcher Anthony Banda to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for outfielder Gerardo Parra at the 2014 deadline. That move was littered with Forever Giants by the way.
Haniger's time in Arizona was brief as he was shipped to the Seattle Mariners along with Jean Segura and Zac Curtis in a deal that sent pitcher Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte to the Diamondbacks in 2016.
Prior to the trade, Haniger had a promsing debut as he registered a .229/.309/.404 (83 OPS+) with five home runs, 17 RBI, and nine runs in 123 plate appearances. By the time he put on a Mariners uniform, the outfielder immediately and consistently flashed a potent bat.
Over the next five seasons, 31-year-old slashed .263/.337/.480 with an 8.9 percent walk rate against a 24.0 percent strikeout rate. He has eclipsed the 20-homer mark twice in his career including a 39-homer outburst in 2021.
Haniger saw time as a center fielder earlier in his career, but he has not appeared at the position since 2019. He has played primarily in right field and has, at times, been a quality defender. The six-year veteran was worth +3 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and +2 Outs Above Average (OAA) in right field in 2022, which would represent a noticeable improvement for the Giants.
Of course, it bears mentioning the durability issues. Haniger appeared in just 57 games in 2022 after sustaining a high ankle sprain. He missed the entire 2020 season due to a sports hernia and played in just 63 games in 2019 after being diagnosed with a ruptured testicle that required a follow-up procedure.
He has missed substantial time throughout his career. When healthy, Haniger has been a consistent producer at the plate and adds a new power element to the Giants lineup. At the very least, he considerably raises the floor of a lineup that posted a 98 OPS+ in 2022. The key will be keeping his bat in the lineup.