Detroit Tigers: 3 buy-low trade candidates to help out the offense
OF Mitch Haniger- Seattle Mariners
One of the most underrated what-ifs in recent baseball history is if Mitch Haniger could have stayed healthy. He’s always showed the ability to be a slugging corner outfielder, but health has been his biggest obstacle.
He was an All-Star in 2018 when he slashed .285/.366/.493 with 26 homers. But on June 6, 2019, Haniger suffered one of the more bizarre injuries in recent memory when he fouled a ball off his groin area and ruptured one of his testicles. This caused him to miss the rest of the 2019 season and the shortened-2020 season as well.
But in 2021, Haniger popped off, smashing a career high 39 dingers. Somehow, he was not an All-Star last season.
Unfortunately, this season has been more of the same for Haniger in regards to his health. He played nine games this year before suffering a high ankle sprain that has kept him out ever since. He’s currently on a rehab assignment, so he should be returning soon.
The question simply becomes, where does Haniger fit onto this Mariners’ roster? Jesse Winker, acquired from Cincinnati in the offseason, along with the return of Kyle Lewis and the emergence of superstar Julio Rodriguez have clogged up the outfield. He could be their DH, but they recently acquired Carlos Santana from the Royals to serve in that role. It seems as if Haniger may no longer have a spot with Seattle.
Like Joey Gallo on this list before him, Haniger is a free agent at the end of the year, which should make him easier to trade for. However, he is a bit older at 31 years old. What makes Gallo and Dom Smith intriguing to acquire is that they are on the right side of 30, so they still have some prime years left. That may not be the case for Haniger, although the 39 home runs a year ago suggest he may have something left in the tank.
If the Detroit Tigers do pull the trigger on a trade for Haniger, the two months he’s with the team before he’s a free agent will be crucial for him. He may have to settle for a one-year prove-it deal in the offseason. If he’s still the player he was last season, this could also be a steal for the Tigers.