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Rumor: Twins Showing Interest in OF Mitch Haniger


Vanimal46
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Mitch Haniger, formerly of the Seattle Mariners, is one of the better OF free agents available this offseason. The 31-year-old possesses a career 123 OPS+ and bats right-handed, traits that are desperately needed in the Twins outfield arrangement. The Twins currently have five corner outfielders, all of which bat left-handed.

 


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There are a number of RH OF options the Twins could be looking to add, some of them already discussed in previous articles from Renfroe to McCutchen, and none of them break the bank while providing much needed offense against LHP.

The Twins should absolutely be in on Haniger. I don't know anything about anything when it comes to MLB financial numbers. On the one hand, a healthy Haniger has put up near All Star numbers. On the other hand, he does, unfortunately, have an injury history, will be 32yo in 2023, and is coming off his highest earnings season at only $7.75M. 

I'm not surprised he has a lot of interest. He should. But I have a hard time believing he's really looking at something like $14M per, as I've read here and there. If I could grab him for $10M per for 2 years with a possible option year, I would have signed him yesterday. And if his market is truly robust, $12M wouldn't be silly at all. But if it's more than that, I have to start thinking about looking elsewhere.

His value to the Twins...and his $ value...changes if Kepler is moved, as many suspect. 

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4 hours ago, DocBauer said:

There are a number of RH OF options the Twins could be looking to add, some of them already discussed in previous articles from Renfroe to McCutchen, and none of them break the bank while providing much needed offense against LHP.

The Twins should absolutely be in on Haniger. I don't know anything about anything when it comes to MLB financial numbers. On the one hand, a healthy Haniger has put up near All Star numbers. On the other hand, he does, unfortunately, have an injury history, will be 32yo in 2023, and is coming off his highest earnings season at only $7.75M. 

I'm not surprised he has a lot of interest. He should. But I have a hard time believing he's really looking at something like $14M per, as I've read here and there. If I could grab him for $10M per for 2 years with a possible option year, I would have signed him yesterday. And if his market is truly robust, $12M wouldn't be silly at all. But if it's more than that, I have to start thinking about looking elsewhere.

His value to the Twins...and his $ value...changes if Kepler is moved, as many suspect. 

Moving Kepler and bringing in Haniger would be taking a step back both offensively and defensively just to get more right handed? 

 

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6 hours ago, dxpavelka said:

Moving Kepler and bringing in Haniger would be taking a step back both offensively and defensively just to get more right handed? 

 

I have spent way too much time attacking Kepler and I've been telling myself that I should back off. He's a human being and I don't like being that guy. 

Yet... you say taking a step back offensively

Well... It's obvious now. I have indeed spent way too much time attacking Kepler because if this is the Kepler perception... there is no point in my continuing because... well... the journey is just too long it seems. 

So here are the actual stats copied and pasted from B-Ref. 

Kepler

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
8 Yrs 837 3361 2955 439 686 162 13 129 400 33 15 345 603 .232 .317 .427 .744 101 1261 30 35 2 24 11    
162 Game Avg. 162 651 572 85 133 31 3 25 77 6 3 67 117 .232 .317 .427 .744 101 244 6
2015 22 MIN AL 3 7 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .143 .143 .143 .286 -21 1 0 0 0 0 0 /H9  
2016 23 MIN AL 113 447 396 52 93 20 2 17 63 6 2 42 93 .235 .309 .424 .734 96 168 2 3 1 5 3 *9/8H3  
2017 24 MIN AL 147 568 511 67 124 32 2 19 69 6 1 47 114 .243 .312 .425 .737 95 217 5 6 1 3 2 *98H/D  
2018 25 MIN AL 156 611 532 80 119 30 4 20 58 4 5 71 96 .224 .319 .408 .727 97 217 8 5 0 3 2 *98H/D3  
2019 26 MIN AL 134 596 524 98 132 32 0 36 90 1 5 60 99 .252 .336 .519 .855 123 272 5 8 0 4 0 *98/HD MVP-20
2020 27 MIN AL 48 196 171 27 39 9 0 9 23 3 0 22 36 .228 .321 .439 .760 109 75 1 2 0 1 0 *9/8HD  
2021 28 MIN AL 121 490 426 61 90 21 4 19 54 10 0 54 96 .211 .306 .413 .719 98 176 2 6 0 4 3 *98/HD  
2022 29 MIN AL 115 446 388 54 88 18 1 9 43 3 2 49 66 .227 .318 .348 .666 93 135 7 5 0 4 1 *9/H8D  

Haniger

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
6 Yrs 564 2437 2164 344 565 109 10 112 323 18 6 217 583 .261 .335 .476 .811 123 1030 42 35 1 20 10    
162 Game Avg. 162 700 622 99 162 31 3 32 93 5 2 62 167 .261 .335 .476 .811 123 296 12 10 0 6 3    
                                                     
SEA (5 yrs) 530 2314 2055 335 540 107 9 107 306 18 6 205 556 .263 .337 .480 .817 126 986 39 34 1 19 8    
ARI (1 yr) 34 123 109 9 25 2 1 5 17 0 0 12 27 .229 .309 .404 .713 83 44 3 1 0 1 2    
                                                     
AL (5 yrs) 530 2314 2055 335 540 107 9 107 306 18 6 205 556 .263 .337 .480 .817 126 986 39 34 1 19 8    
NL (1 yr) 34 123 109 9 25 2 1 5 17 0 0 12 27 .229 .309 .404 .713 83 44 3 1 0 1 2    
2016 25 ARI NL 34 123 109 9 25 2 1 5 17 0 0 12 27 .229 .309 .404 .713 83 44 3 1 0 1 2 8/7H9  
2017 26 SEA AL 96 410 369 58 104 25 2 16 47 5 4 31 93 .282 .352 .491 .843 127 181 9 9 1 0 0 9/87H  
2018 27 SEA AL 157 683 596 90 170 38 4 26 93 8 2 70 148 .285 .366 .493 .859 139 294 8 10 0 7 4 *98/7D AS,MVP-11
2019 28 SEA AL 63 283 246 46 54 13 1 15 32 4 0 30 81 .220 .314 .463 .778 108 114 3 5 0 2 1 98/DH  
                                                           
2021 30 SEA AL 157 691 620 110 157 23 2 39 100 1 0 54 169 .253 .318 .485 .804 122 301 12 9 0 8 2 *9D MVP-20
2022 31 SEA AL 57 247 224 31 55 8 0 11 34 0 0 20 65 .246 .308 .429 .736 114 96 7 1 0 2 1 9D  
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If you look at the current Twins Roster. Kyle Garlick who isn't allowed to face Right Handed Pitching is ranked second in Slugging Percentage. Third place belongs to Nick Gordon.

Let me repeat that condescendingly.

2nd place belongs to a guy who isn't allowed to face RH pitching and third place belongs to Nick Gordon. Typical hitting positions like 1B and RF are currently projected to be handled by players (Arraez and Kepler) who did not reach DOUBLE DIGITS in home runs despite over 400 AB's for both.

But... whatever... Let me repeat.

Kyle Garlick who isn't allowed to face RH pitching is in 2nd place and Nick Gordon is currently ranked third in 2022 slugging. 

We need a couple of bats who can piss pound that baseball. This is as obvious as a Naked Person walking into a supermarket.  

Ranked by 2022 Slugging Percentage

Buxton .526

Garlick .433

Gordon .427

Miranda .426

Arraez .420

Larnach .406

Polanco .405

Farmer .386

Kirilloff .361

Jeffers .360

Kepler .348

Celestino .302

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He would help when healthy. Is the back injury still a concern? He missed most of 2019 and all of 2020 with that injury. He didn’t go on IL last September but missed a week with back trouble in September. He did return to finish the season. The injury that knocked him out for over three months in 2022 was a high ankle sprain. Back and ankle injuries can return.

If they sign him to a three year contract they should expect that he will miss significant time in two of those seasons and build a roster to account for his injury history. They probably still need someone like Kepler in reserve.

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I think I would have rather traded for Hunter Renfroe.  If you look at the 3 pitchers Milwaukee got as a return, it was almost as good as a literal bucket of balls.  He'd be on a 1 year arb deal that should be much cheaper than what Haniger will receive.  I think some metrics have Renfroe as at least a league average defender.  

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VI think Haniger would be great! The problem is he really hasn't played much left field in his career. assuming we wanna go into the year with Kep in right and Buxton in center well now what? Haniger won't come here to be a bench player, nor should he. Kepler could prolly be an above average defender even in left field. None of it matters if we don't get Correa back.

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4 hours ago, jorgenswest said:

He would help when healthy. Is the back injury still a concern? He missed most of 2019 and all of 2020 with that injury. He didn’t go on IL last September but missed a week with back trouble in September. He did return to finish the season. The injury that knocked him out for over three months in 2022 was a high ankle sprain. Back and ankle injuries can return.

If they sign him to a three year contract they should expect that he will miss significant time in two of those seasons and build a roster to account for his injury history. They probably still need someone like Kepler in reserve.

Agreed. As hard as I've been on Kepler. I think the thing to do is roster him since you are paying the 8 million anyway and see if Kepler can improve and help the team out. We will need that Buxton replacement. 

However... what you don't do is say we have Kepler so we don't need anybody else. 

In the case of Haniger being that guy. Health is exactly why you don't do it. Everything else is why you absolutely do it. 

If the club can build sufficient depth. If Larnach and Kirilloff and Gordon and Kepler can show they can help us win games. A Haniger injury won't matter as much and if Hanger is healthy... that would be awesome to have Haniger, Larnach, Kirilloff, Gordon and Kepler all getting it done. 

I like Haniger but I'm ok with anyone they bring in... As long as that guy that is a top of the order bat.

And in bring in another one along with Haniger, Correa or Drury or anyone that will OPS over .750 for the top of the order. The team will look a lot better if Gordon or Miranda is hitting 5 or 6 of 7 in the order. 

It's the off-season... Load up

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4 hours ago, baul0010 said:

I think I would have rather traded for Hunter Renfroe.  If you look at the 3 pitchers Milwaukee got as a return, it was almost as good as a literal bucket of balls.  He'd be on a 1 year arb deal that should be much cheaper than what Haniger will receive.  I think some metrics have Renfroe as at least a league average defender.  

Very surprised the Brewers did not get more for Renfroe as I felt they were in a position of selling high.  This is confirmed by the interest in Haniger.  Maybe one of the pitchers the Brewers received pans out, but initially it looks like the Angels did well in this trade.

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16 hours ago, Riverbrian said:

I have spent way too much time attacking Kepler and I've been telling myself that I should back off. He's a human being and I don't like being that guy. 

Yet... you say taking a step back offensively

Well... It's obvious now. I have indeed spent way too much time attacking Kepler because if this is the Kepler perception... there is no point in my continuing because... well... the journey is just too long it seems. 

So here are the actual stats copied and pasted from B-Ref. 

Kepler

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
8 Yrs 837 3361 2955 439 686 162 13 129 400 33 15 345 603 .232 .317 .427 .744 101 1261 30 35 2 24 11    
162 Game Avg. 162 651 572 85 133 31 3 25 77 6 3 67 117 .232 .317 .427 .744 101 244 6
2015 22 MIN AL 3 7 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .143 .143 .143 .286 -21 1 0 0 0 0 0 /H9  
2016 23 MIN AL 113 447 396 52 93 20 2 17 63 6 2 42 93 .235 .309 .424 .734 96 168 2 3 1 5 3 *9/8H3  
2017 24 MIN AL 147 568 511 67 124 32 2 19 69 6 1 47 114 .243 .312 .425 .737 95 217 5 6 1 3 2 *98H/D  
2018 25 MIN AL 156 611 532 80 119 30 4 20 58 4 5 71 96 .224 .319 .408 .727 97 217 8 5 0 3 2 *98H/D3  
2019 26 MIN AL 134 596 524 98 132 32 0 36 90 1 5 60 99 .252 .336 .519 .855 123 272 5 8 0 4 0 *98/HD MVP-20
2020 27 MIN AL 48 196 171 27 39 9 0 9 23 3 0 22 36 .228 .321 .439 .760 109 75 1 2 0 1 0 *9/8HD  
2021 28 MIN AL 121 490 426 61 90 21 4 19 54 10 0 54 96 .211 .306 .413 .719 98 176 2 6 0 4 3 *98/HD  
2022 29 MIN AL 115 446 388 54 88 18 1 9 43 3 2 49 66 .227 .318 .348 .666 93 135 7 5 0 4 1 *9/H8D  

Haniger

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
6 Yrs 564 2437 2164 344 565 109 10 112 323 18 6 217 583 .261 .335 .476 .811 123 1030 42 35 1 20 10    
162 Game Avg. 162 700 622 99 162 31 3 32 93 5 2 62 167 .261 .335 .476 .811 123 296 12 10 0 6 3    
                                                     
SEA (5 yrs) 530 2314 2055 335 540 107 9 107 306 18 6 205 556 .263 .337 .480 .817 126 986 39 34 1 19 8    
ARI (1 yr) 34 123 109 9 25 2 1 5 17 0 0 12 27 .229 .309 .404 .713 83 44 3 1 0 1 2    
                                                     
AL (5 yrs) 530 2314 2055 335 540 107 9 107 306 18 6 205 556 .263 .337 .480 .817 126 986 39 34 1 19 8    
NL (1 yr) 34 123 109 9 25 2 1 5 17 0 0 12 27 .229 .309 .404 .713 83 44 3 1 0 1 2    
2016 25 ARI NL 34 123 109 9 25 2 1 5 17 0 0 12 27 .229 .309 .404 .713 83 44 3 1 0 1 2 8/7H9  
2017 26 SEA AL 96 410 369 58 104 25 2 16 47 5 4 31 93 .282 .352 .491 .843 127 181 9 9 1 0 0 9/87H  
2018 27 SEA AL 157 683 596 90 170 38 4 26 93 8 2 70 148 .285 .366 .493 .859 139 294 8 10 0 7 4 *98/7D AS,MVP-11
2019 28 SEA AL 63 283 246 46 54 13 1 15 32 4 0 30 81 .220 .314 .463 .778 108 114 3 5 0 2 1 98/DH  
                                                           
2021 30 SEA AL 157 691 620 110 157 23 2 39 100 1 0 54 169 .253 .318 .485 .804 122 301 12 9 0 8 2 *9D MVP-20
2022 31 SEA AL 57 247 224 31 55 8 0 11 34 0 0 20 65 .246 .308 .429 .736 114 96 7 1 0 2 1 9D  

And yet the Ms feel they can do better..

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17 hours ago, Riverbrian said:

After 6 years of service. Players are eligible for free agency. It says so in the CBA. 

 

Teams also have the right to re-sign said players before they reach free agency.  Says so in the CBA.  Typically, if they wish to retain the player, they make an offer they deem to be in line with his value to their team. 

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5 hours ago, dxpavelka said:

Teams also have the right to re-sign said players before they reach free agency.  Says so in the CBA.  Typically, if they wish to retain the player, they make an offer they deem to be in line with his value to their team. 

I'm not going down this rabbit hole any further. 

Teams do have the right to re-sign players and they have the right to extend players so they don't reach free agency. They can also make a qualifying offer to complicate the players free agency.  

Players also have the right become free agents and negotiate with other teams. I understand the process.

Let's refocus -- You said

On 11/22/2022 at 11:45 PM, dxpavelka said:

Moving Kepler and bringing in Haniger would be taking a step back both offensively and defensively just to get more right handed? 

I disagree and I posted the actual offensive stats of both.

You replied

On 11/23/2022 at 11:40 PM, dxpavelka said:

And yet the Ms feel they can do better..

I personally think the Mariners did better with Teoscar. That isn't a slam on Haniger by saying Teoscar is better. However, it doesn't matter what I think about the Mariners though. 

I think Haniger is a big offensive upgrade over Kepler for the TWINS. 

I think the Twins desperately need a couple of top of the order bats to make sure that Kepler is NOT a top of the order bat. 

 

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The Mariners did not make a qualifying offer on Haniger and instead traded a good prospect and reliever to the Blue Jays. Why not offer Haniger the one year deal and keep Macko and Swanson? Worst care they would get the pick.

Were they afraid he would take the deal? Maybe the worst case is worry about his back. He missed a week with back trouble in September. It was his back that caused him to miss much of 2019 and all of 2020. Perhaps the likelihood of injury was to great to make the offer. 

They went out and traded two valuable players to get a right fielder they feel they can count on. Should the Twins be confident they can count on Haniger to stay healthy? If the Mariners who know him well won’t extend a one year offer should the Twins be offering 3 years?

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FWIW, if the Mariners had offered the qualifying offer, it was for $19.5M. 

I like Haniger and would be in favor of his addition and the potential impact he could have. Yes, I'm crossing my fingers a little bit that he doesn't have anything other than small dings and dents and doesn't miss any appreciable time. 

But I wouldn't offer him $19.5M either

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3 hours ago, jorgenswest said:

The Mariners did not make a qualifying offer on Haniger and instead traded a good prospect and reliever to the Blue Jays. Why not offer Haniger the one year deal and keep Macko and Swanson? Worst care they would get the pick.

Were they afraid he would take the deal? Maybe the worst case is worry about his back. He missed a week with back trouble in September. It was his back that caused him to miss much of 2019 and all of 2020. Perhaps the likelihood of injury was to great to make the offer. 

They went out and traded two valuable players to get a right fielder they feel they can count on. Should the Twins be confident they can count on Haniger to stay healthy? If the Mariners who know him well won’t extend a one year offer should the Twins be offering 3 years?

They saved 5 million and got (in my opinion)a better player and healthier. 

Id hate to penalize Haniger for Teoscar being in town. I do agree though... the medicals should be a concern. 

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1 hour ago, DocBauer said:

FWIW, if the Mariners had offered the qualifying offer, it was for $19.5M. 

I like Haniger and would be in favor of his addition and the potential impact he could have. Yes, I'm crossing my fingers a little bit that he doesn't have anything other than small dings and dents and doesn't miss any appreciable time. 

But I wouldn't offer him $19.5M either

This was the source I used but it must have changed. I do have a little more confidence that his back trouble in September is not as worrisome if the Mariners made that offer.

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