A Farewell to Mitch Haniger as he signs with the San Francisco Giants
By Tyler Alsin
Mitch Haniger is no longer a Seattle Mariner. After six seasons in Seattle, including an All-Star appearance and a 100 RBI season, Haniger has signed a three-year, $43.5 million deal with the San Francisco Giants.
It’s fantastically well-deserved for Haniger and is clearly the type of money that the team wasn’t comfortable spending on his return, as injury prone as he has been.
Mitch Haniger has left the Mariners for the Giants
But it still is a blow to the offense and will leave a significant hole in the culture next season. After all, Haniger’s letter “Dear Mariners Fans” was so powerfully charged that the Mariner’s social media team brought it to life to launch the 2022 season.
It’s significant money and a sizeable gamble for the Giants, as Haniger has only two 100+ game seasons in his MLB career.
Jerry Dipoto spoke to the contract and the entire process, saying all parties were pleasantly surprised by how interested teams were in Haniger.
"He went out and found out that his market was pretty robust and we respected it and wish them well. Frankly, I’m glad he landed outside of the American League. I’m happy for him."
The MLB is a business, and these are the brutal consequences. However, consider where Haniger has been. In that All-Star season – 2018 – he made $560,000. He also had a higher OPS and wRC+ than Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz.
When he was on, he was remarkable. Mitch Haniger delivered some of the biggest and most memorable moments as Seattle fought tooth and nail to eventually turn the ship around.
When the Mariners needed just a couple of teeny tiny runs in that final stretch against the Los Angeles Angels in 2021, at times it was only Haniger who could come through.
For those three days, I’d never seen T-Mobile Park so lively, so tense, so loud, and so hopeful. Haniger was one of the best Mariners of the last decade and was absolutely one of the reasons fans showed up to the park. His ability to pull through the shift when the entire stadium knew he was going to pull, his incredible bottom-of-the-zone power, and his rather underrated defense were a pure joy to watch day in and day out.
That’s the hardest part, watching one of the last players who was part of the build-up for so long head off to another franchise. But in the end, Haniger did accomplish his dreams in Seattle. He brought the playoffs to the city. He played in a postseason game in his home stadium.
In no small part, he helped end the drought. Thank you, Mitch Haniger.