Mitch Haniger posts open letter to Mariners fans after joining Giants

Dec 7, 2022, 2:31 PM

Seattle Mariners Mitch Haniger...

Mitch Haniger celebrates his walk-off single in the Mariners' win over Cleveland on Aug. 26. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

For the second offseason in a row, Mitch Haniger has written something addressed to Mariners fans. The latest may be more of a tearjerker, though, because of the circumstances around it.

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Haniger agreed to a three-year, $43.5 million contract with the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night, ending his free agency and a six-year tenure with the Mariners where he grew into an All-Star and fan favorite in Seattle.

The loss of Haniger was expected following Seattle’s trade addition of Teoscar Hernández, but it didn’t make it any easier to take for M’s fans.

The Mariners posted a tribute Wednesday to Haniger on their official Twitter account, and Haniger used that as a springboard to share an open letter to Seattle.

Here’s what Haniger said:

Haniger was seen in many ways as the heart and soul of the Mariners coming into 2022. Not only did he have the biggest hit of 2021 for Seattle, giving the M’s a must-need win over the Los Angeles Angels in the second-to-last game of the year that kept them alive for postseason contention entering Game 162, but he fired up the fan base with his piece for The Players’ Tribune in October 2021 titled “Dear Mariners Fans” where he vowed the Mariners would end their 20-season postseason drought in 2022.

And they did.

Haniger debuted with the Mariners in 2017 after an offseason trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. While he had only 34 games of MLB experience at the time, he blossomed into a star quickly and earned an All-Star nod in 2018. After a missing half of the 2019 season and all of the shortened 2020 campaign due to injury, he came back with arguably his best season in 2021, crushing 39 home runs and 100 RBIs in a 90-win season for Seattle.

Haniger was a part of the drought-breaking team in 2022, too, but he was limited to just 57 games due to an early-season illness and a high-ankle sprain that cost him two months of the season. He will look to regain his 2021 form with the Giants, getting the chance to play near his hometown in the Bay Area.

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