Dodgers Team News

Dodgers Rumors: LA Linked to Free Agent Outfielder Mitch Haniger

Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger hit free agency for the first time this month, and he’s an interesting case to think about. When he’s healthy, he’s outstanding — he played 157 games in both 2018 and 2021, and in those two seasons, he combined for 65 homers and an OPS around .830. Of course, those are the only two seasons in his six-year career in which he’s played more than 96 games, with a wide range of injuries hampering him throughout his career.

Still, Haniger has a career OPS+ of 123 and has been, at times in his career, a very good defensive outfielder. So it’s not surprising that the Dodgers, who are in the market for an outfielder, are rumored to be interested.

Haniger’s career OPS at Angel Stadium is a weird addendum to that tweet. His tOPS+ in Anaheim is 108, meaning his performance there is eight percent better than his overall performance everywhere. It’s something, but just barely, and considering that the Angels are notorious for not having the pitching to get them over the top, it’s probably something I’d chalk up more to “hitting against the Angels” than “hitting at Angel Stadium.”

But I digress. Back to the Dodgers. Haniger’s primary defensive position is right field, and the Dodgers have a six-time Gold Glove winner out there in Mookie Betts, who isn’t moving to second base no matter what anyone tells you. Haniger used to play some center field, but he hasn’t played there since 2019 and he wasn’t particularly good out there when he did play.

But Haniger could certainly slot in as a left-fielder with some time at designated hitter in Los Angeles. MLB Trade Rumors projects him for a three-year, $39 million deal. This feels a lot like the AJ Pollock deal a few years ago, except we all got tricked into thinking Pollock was a center-fielder. With Haniger, there’s a bit more truth in advertising, and he feels like an Andrew Friedman player in a lot of ways.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. But this one may actually happen. Corner OF is the same left or right the ball curls the opposite way and RF requires a stronger arm. But if you can play one you can play the other.

  2. Every free agent player and sometimes non-player is “linked” to the Dodgers. There are rumors that the Dodgers are interested in me and I haven’t picked up a bat or glove for over 75 years. I could “be had” for only 1 million dollars per year, but I want a long term contract. (long term is just wishful thinking)

  3. Mitch Haniger, James Outman, Taylor, and Thompson should be a great collective for RF and CF. Let the NNY or another team take the big risk on Aaron Judge. At $40M+/yr he’ll probably give you 3 good years and 3 bad ones.

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