Although a excessive ankle sprain and a two-week stint on the COVID-related injured record restricted Mitch Haniger to solely 58 video games final season, the outfielder is drawing plenty of consideration on the free agent market. Based on Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Giants and Rangers are two of the golf equipment trying on the former All-Star.
Haniger hit .246/.308/.429 with 11 homers over 247 plate appearances in 2022, which translated to a stable 113 wRC+. He hit for lots (47.2%) of exhausting contact, and contemplating how groups more and more used the shift to restrict Haniger’s numbers over the past two seasons, the altering shift guidelines for 2023 would possibly result in Haniger higher translating these hard-hit balls into base hits.
Attributable to a ruptured testicle and a torn adductor muscle, Haniger performed in simply 63 video games in 2019 and he missed the 2020 season fully. Returning for a full season in 2021, Haniger hit .253/.318/.485 with 39 homers in 691 PA — fairly near the manufacturing the outfielder delivered in his first two seasons with the Mariners in 2017-18.
Between this well being historical past, his lack of an actual platform season, and his age (32 in December), Haniger faces an fascinating journey in free company. Regardless of all of the drawbacks, MLBTR nonetheless projected him for a three-year, $39MM deal based mostly on how effectively Haniger has carried out when wholesome. It’s potential Haniger would possibly pursue a cope with an opt-out clause after the primary season, or maybe only a straight one-year deal fully so he can re-enter the market subsequent winter on the heels of what he hopes might be a more healthy and extra productive 2023 season. Or, it wouldn’t in any respect be stunning if Haniger wished to lock in a multi-year dedication now, given how accidents have already sidetracked his profession on a number of events.
Past simply his skill on the plate, Haniger has additionally usually displayed above-average glovework in proper subject. That may make him a very good match with a defensively-conscious group just like the Giants, and his right-handed bat would steadiness out a lefty-heavy outfield mixture of Joc Pederson, LaMonte Wade Jr., Mike Yastrzemski, and Luis Gonzalez. If San Francisco did signal Haniger, the Giants would possibly then dangle one in every of their different outfielders in commerce talks, or maybe simply use Wade extra incessantly at first base.
The Rangers, after all, are very aware of Haniger after seeing him as an opponent for therefore a few years within the AL West. Texas additionally has a necessity within the outfield, with Adolis Garcia the one actual lock for on a regular basis taking part in time and Leody Taveras maybe additionally favored for normal work in middle subject. Haniger might slide into the best subject combine and put Garcia in left subject, and Haniger might additionally get some DH at-bats when Brad Miller takes a seat in opposition to left-handed pitching.
The Giants and Rangers are anticipated to be two of the offseason’s most aggressive groups, with San Francisco trying to bounce again after a disappointing 81-81 season and Texas attempting to get again to successful baseball after six straight years beneath the .500 mark. Each golf equipment have cash to spend, and it’s most likely value noting that Haniger is likely to be a backup plan to Aaron Judge in San Francisco, given how the Giants have been so incessantly tied to the Bay Space native on the rumor mill. If Decide’s asking worth will get too excessive for the Giants’ liking, they may maybe pursue an alternate route of signing Haniger for proper subject after which splurging on one other prime free agent (like one of many main shortstops, or an ace pitcher). The Rangers are anticipated to be focusing a lot of their winter efforts on rotation upgrades, however bolstering the lineup can also be on the to-do record.