Every San Francisco Giants fan on the planet is waiting for the team to sign Aaron Judge. But before that, the club landed another great outfielder.
The talk of the MLB Winter Meetings on Tuesday has largely been about the San Francisco Giants and the franchise’s pursuit of free agency’s white whale, Aaron Judge — not to be confused with everyone’s new favorite, Arson Judge. But while everyone was waiting on that deal either with San Francisco or the Yankees, the Giants were cooking up something else.
In Judge’s massive shadow in free agency, one of the most coveted outfielders on the market has been Mitch Haniger, most recently of the Seattle Mariners. As everyone had eyes on Judge, though, the Giants weren’t just sitting around and waiting for another of their top targets.
On Tuesday night, ESPN’s Jeff Passan was first to report that San Francisco had signed Haniger to a three-year contract.
Mitch Haniger contract details: Giants land OF amid Aaron Judge pursuit
According to Passan, the deal is worth $43.5 million over three years. More importantly, Passan and others were clear to note that this deal has no effect on the team’s pursuit of Judge as they have been targeting both outfielders this offseason as their top priorities.
Injuries limited Haniger to just 57 games with Seattle this past season and that showed on the field as he never totally got into a rhythm. That might be giving the Giants somewhat of a discount, however, as the year prior, the soon-to-be 32-year-old slashed .253/.318/.486 while hitting 39 homers with 100 RBI for the Mariners.
Last offseason, San Francisco made a play and landed Joc Pederson off his run with the Braves in the postseason. Pederson played well but the outfield depth overall was inconsistent and, frankly, lacking. Haniger is a piece that will help address that, no matter what happens in the team’s pursuit of Judge.
Of course, if they can now add Judge on top of the Haniger signing, that’s about as ideal as it gets for the Giants.