The San Francisco Giants have reportedly agreed to a three-year, $43.5 million deal with veteran outfielder Mitch Haniger, per ESPN's Jeff Passan.
According to that report, "Signing Haniger does not take the Giants out of the running for Aaron Judge. They have been pursuing both throughout free agency."
Haniger, 31, will give the Giants an instant dose of power. While he only played in 57 games last year due to back and ankle injuries and a bout with COVID-19, he still managed 11 homers and 34 RBI for the Seattle Mariners.
A healthy Haniger was excellent in 2021, hitting .253 with 39 dingers, 100 RBI, 110 runs and a .804 OPS in 157 contests. The 2018 All-Star has dealt with serious injury issues in his career, however, as a ruptured testicle and sports hernia cost him half the 2019 season and the full 2020 campaign.
But the 2021 version of Haniger, alongside the potential addition of Judge, would immediately give the Giants a ton of pop in the middle of the order. Last season, Joc Pederson led the team in both homers (23) and slugging percentage (.521), while Wilmer Flores topped the club in RBI (71).
For the moment, the reporting surrounding Judge is that he'll choose between the only team he's played for in his MLB career, the New York Yankees, and his favorite team from his childhood, the Giants.
Bob Nightengale @BNightengale
The Giants still, of course, are trying to sign Aaron Judge, just like the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yankees?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yankees</a>.<br>Both teams insist that no decision has been made. <a href="https://t.co/nCIkX1SrE2">https://t.co/nCIkX1SrE2</a>
MLB Network @MLBNetwork
"There are those in the industry who believe that he already has in hand that nine-year offer we've been talking about for a while." 👀<a href="https://twitter.com/jonmorosi?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@jonmorosi</a> has the latest news on Aaron Judge's market. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLBNHotStove?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MLBNHotStove</a> <a href="https://t.co/WcCqJT0gRI">pic.twitter.com/WcCqJT0gRI</a>
Judge, 30, is the crown jewel of free agency after an AL MVP season that saw him hit .311 with 62 homers, 131 RBI, 133 runs and an eye-popping 1.111 OPS. He basically willed the Yankees into the postseason, and his loss would be devastating for New York.
His addition would be franchise-altering for the Giants, a team that won three World Series titles between the 2010-14 seasons but has made the playoffs just twice since.
One domino has fallen for San Francisco in its efforts to improve the lineup. All eyes now turn to Judge.