Haniger agrees to three-year, $43.5 million deal with Giants

December 7th, 2022

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants ultimately came up short in their pursuit of top free-agent target Aaron Judge, but they still landed another power-hitting outfielder with local ties on Tuesday.

, a Mountain View native who attended Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, agreed to a three-year, $43.5 million contract with his hometown Giants, marking the club’s first significant move of the Winter Meetings.

The deal, which includes an opt-out following the 2024 season, didn't preclude San Francisco from attempting to sign Judge, as president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has said the club would like to add multiple outfielders this offseason.

While Judge had been the focal point of their offseason, Zaidi said the Giants also had a strong interest in adding Haniger, who is expected to slot into an everyday role in the corner outfield after spending the past five seasons with the Mariners.

“He’s a really good all-around player,” Zaidi said. “I’ve been a fan of his his entire career. The interest was mutual, which is kind of what you need to make these deals.”

Haniger, who turns 32 on Dec. 23, will earn $5 million in 2023, $17 million in 2024 and $15.5 million in 2025. He will also receive a $6 million signing bonus and a one-time assignment bonus of $1 million if he is traded during the term of this contract. He will also make an annual donation to the Giants Community Fund, donating $55,000 in 2023, $85,000 in 2024 and $77,500 in 2025.

By backloading Haniger’s contract, Zaidi said the Giants will have more short-term flexibility to pursue other free-agent possibilities this offseason.

“We’re obviously trying to accomplish a number of things in ‘23, so the lower number in ‘23 is helpful,” Zaidi said.

A right-handed hitter, Haniger has provided an above-average bat during his career, posting a lifetime 123 OPS+ and earning an All-Star nod in 2018, but he’s been set back by frequent injuries. He missed more than three months with a right high ankle sprain in 2022, appearing in 57 games and hitting .246 with 11 homers and a .736 OPS.

Haniger also played just 63 games in 2019 and missed all of the shortened 2020 season while recovering from back surgery. He returned to produce 39 homers, 100 RBIs, 110 runs scored and an .804 OPS over 157 games in 2021.

“We’re really confident in his current health,” Zaidi said. “We view some of his injuries over the last few years as flukish. He’s had two years where he played a lot. You look at his 2018 season, his 2021 season, he has the ability to play a lot. He’s kind of demonstrated that. He’s very motivated. He’s someone who’s really in tune with his body and what he needs.”

Although he’s spent most of his career with the Mariners, Haniger was originally drafted by the Brewers with the 38th overall pick in 2012, and he made his MLB debut with the D-backs in 2016. Arizona traded Haniger to Seattle with infielder Jean Segura for infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte and right-hander Taijuan Walker that offseason.

Haniger is the second outfielder to sign with the Giants this offseason, joining fellow Bay Area native Joc Pederson, who is likely to draw more at-bats as the designated hitter after accepting a one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer last month. If they manage to land Judge -- a product of Linden, Calif. -- the Giants could feature three hometown sluggers in their outfield next year. 

“It’s not a marketing gimmick,” Zaidi said. “We just think players being comfortable helps them succeed and perform well. We’ve seen it time and time again.”