I'd say that it isn't a big reach or crazy statement to say that Mitch Haniger has been a fan favorite since the Mariners acquired him from the Arizona Diamondbacks back in 2016. He was a fun player, worked his tail off, and provided some great seasons. He even wrote "the letter", which would get every single Mariners fan fired up in the process.
However, there was a flipside to it. Mitch could not stay healthy. Some of them were freak injuries of which those that remember shudder just thinking about. Others were actually baseball related, like the rolled ankle that kept him out for months in 2022. In his 6 seasons in Seattle, Mitch Haniger would play in just 60.9% of available games.
It's early, but the Mariners may have made the right decision in letting Mitch Haniger walk
It's almost worse when you realize he had two seasons at 157 games. That means that in 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2022, he played in just 39.6% of the games. That's the second part of a platoon. Not an All-Star OF. The problem was that when he played and was healthy, he dominated. Just look at those two 157 game seasons. A 6.5 WAR and a 3.1 WAR. We knew the potential, he just needed to be on the field.
I know it's early. We are only about 20 games into the season. Yet, Mitch Haniger has yet to suit up in a game for the Giants. Sure, maybe this is just an early season blip, and they will see him come back to play 130 games or so and hit .270. Honestly, I want to see it happen. I sort of like the Giants, and I want to see Mitch succeed.
For the Mariners, this would just be another mark against an offense that has been struggling, and fodder for the dingbats out there to complain about the team not doing enough to improve the offense.
I miss Haniger. I really do. I was ready to run through a wall for that guy. Unfortunately, I think the Mariners made the right decision in letting him walk.