Mariners excited to reunite with Haniger, add DeSclafani

Seattle also acquires Raley from Rays in exchange for Caballero

January 5th, 2024

The Mariners beefed up their outfield with a pair of trades on Friday, including a reunion with former All-Star slugger .

Haniger, who bashed 107 home runs in five seasons with the Mariners and was named an American League All-Star in 2018, is headed back to Seattle after spending one year in San Francisco. Along with Haniger, the Mariners are acquiring right-handed pitcher and cash from the Giants in exchange for left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray.

In addition to Haniger and DeSclafani, the Mariners acquired outfielder on Friday from the Rays for infielder José Caballero.

Mariners get: OF Mitch Haniger, RHP Anthony DeSclafani, cash
Giants get: LHP Robbie Ray

Mariners get: OF Luke Raley
Rays get: INF José Caballero

“In Mitch, we get a player we know well, and hold in very high regard, as another piece for our outfield, while Anthony -- who can start or pitch out of the ‘pen -- gives us depth in our pitching staff,” Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “And the deal allows us to put the best team possible on the field from Opening Day on.”

Haniger appeared in 61 games with the Giants last season, batting .209 with 27 runs, 13 doubles, six home runs, 28 RBIs and 15 walks around a couple of stints on the injured list. That included a right forearm fracture suffered when he was hit by a pitch thrown by pitcher Jack Flaherty.

The injury made for a frustrating 2023 for Haniger, whose career took off during his five seasons with the Mariners (2017-19, ’21-22). In 530 games with Seattle, Haniger hit .263 with 335 runs, 107 doubles, nine triples, 107 home runs, 306 RBIs and 205 walks. After sitting out '20 due to injuries, Haniger totaled career highs in home runs (39), RBIs (100) and runs scored (110) in '21.

Raley, 29, broke out last season by hitting .249/.333/.490 with 19 homers, 23 doubles, 14 steals and 49 RBIs in 118 games for the Rays. Among American League players with at least 400 plate appearance in 2023, Raley’s 130 wRC+ ranked 14th. He appeared defensively at first base (35 games) and at all three outfield positions (36 games in right, 18 in left and 11 in center).

Haniger has hit left-handers (.840 OPS) better than right-handers (.778) in his career. Raley, by contrast, has hit right-handers (.783) better than lefties (.580), setting the duo up to platoon in one of Seattle’s corner outfield spots.

“We’re thrilled to add Luke Raley to the middle of our lineup as a left-handed bat with positional versatility,” Mariners executive vice president and general manager Justin Hollander said in a statement. “Offensively, Luke brings power paired with game-changing baserunning and instincts. He’s also a solid defender across multiple positions, adding further flexibility to our lineup on a nightly basis.”

DeSclafani made 19 appearances (18 starts) with San Francisco last year, going 4-8 with a 4.88 ERA and 79 strikeouts to 20 walks. He will be in the final year of a three-year, $36 million deal.

The right-hander spent most of last year on the injured list with right shoulder fatigue (July 3-17) and a right elbow flexor strain (June 30 through end of season). In nine seasons, he is 54-56 with a 4.20 ERA with 251 walks and 830 strikeouts in 180 games (169 starts) with the Marlins, Reds and Giants.

Ray, the 2021 AL Cy Young winner, made one start for Seattle last year before undergoing Tommy John surgery in May, which will keep him out of action for the first half of next season. The Mariners signed him to a five-year, $115 million contract prior to the 2022 season.

In Ray’s first season with Seattle, he went 12-12 with a 3.71 ERA and led the team in strikeouts with 212. He made two appearances out of the bullpen in relief that postseason against the Astros in the ALDS, giving up a stunning walk-off three-run homer to Houston’s Yordan Alvarez in Game 1.

“I do want to thank Robbie for his time in Seattle. On the field and in the clubhouse, he was a key part of taking us to the postseason in 2022 and in allowing us to remain in the race down to the final days in 2023,” Dipoto said. “He provided leadership to our young pitchers that will be felt here for years to come. We wish him and his family nothing but the best in San Francisco.”