Watch: Mitch Haniger homers in first AB back with Mariners

Feb 25, 2024, 1:21 PM | Updated: 4:42 pm

Seattle Mariners Mitch Haniger...

Mitch Haniger of the Seattle Mariners hits a grand slam against the Angels in 2021. (Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

(Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Mitch Haniger is back in a Seattle Mariners uniform, and he’s hitting home runs again, too.

Mariners Notebook: Haniger’s big return, and which M’s can hoop?

In his first plate appearance since being reacquired by the M’s in January, Haniger ripped a solo home run to left field in the team’s Cactus League home opener Sunday against the Cleveland Guardians in Peoria, Ariz.

Watch the blast here:

Just like old times.

As Haniger stepped into the box, he was greeted by a nice ovation from the crowd at the Peoria Sports Complex. Always a fan favorite with the M’s, Haniger then really gave them something to cheer about, just like he’s done 107 times before in regular season games in Seattle’s blue and Northwest green.

The Mitch Haniger/Seattle Mariners reunion

The return of Haniger was welcomed by Mariners fans this offseason, and it was quite the surprising reunion, as well.

Haniger, a one-time All-Star, was not re-signed by the team when he hit free agency after the 2022 season. Instead, the Bay Area native landed with the San Francisco Giants. Injuries unfortunately held him to just 61 games with San Francisco, where he slashed .209/.266/.365 for a .631 OPS with six home runs.

The Mariners brought him back on Jan. 5, 2024, sending 2021 American League Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray to the Giants for Haniger and right-hander Anthony Desclafani, who was flipped to Minnesota in a February trade that brought Jorge Polanco to the Mariners.

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Seattle no doubt hopes that Haniger, 33, can stay healthy and regain some of the production that made him a star during his first five-season stint with Seattle. In 2021, Haniger set career-high marks in home runs (39), RBIs (100) and total bases (301) while playing 157 games, helping the M’s finish with a 90-72 record. His best year in many ways was his All-Star campaign in 2018 when he had an .859 OPS with 26 homers and 93 RBIs, and he provided a boost down the stretch to help Seattle break a long postseason drought after his return from injury around midseason in 2022.

Haniger comes into this season as more of a role player than he has been in the past, as the right-handed slugger is expected to share time in the corner outfield spots with lefty swingers Luke Raley and Dominic Canzone.

All M’s spring training games air live on the Seattle Sports app. For full details on how to hear the Mariners Radio Network broadcast of each game, including those on 710 AM, click here.

More Seattle Mariners spring training coverage

Young bats impress in Mariners’ spring training opener
Drayer: How will Mariners handle the outfield?
Mariners’ rotation got work done in very different ways this offseason
Morosi breaks down three big Seattle Mariners concerns
Mariners’ Woo eager to take lessons learned as rookie into 2024
Drayer: Seattle Mariners’ Ty France back after drastic adjustments

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Watch: Mitch Haniger homers in first AB back with Mariners