Coming off quite possibly the best power season of his career, Kyle Seager, 34, finds himself being one of the better free agent infielders on the MLB free agent market. The veteran third baseman remains a sturdy force. He provides offensive amplitude and someone with familiarity at the hot corner.
Seager’s 2022 landing spot is versatile because he has been a veteran force on a young team (he has done this with the Seattle Mariners for his entire career). Meanwhile, he poses a win-now free agent option for contending teams in search of a reliable everyday corner infielder.
Here are three ideal free agent destinations for Kyle Seager.
3) Kyle Seager to the New York Yankees
The Yankees’ offseason was already murky, and the MLB lockout furthers that reality. With most of the big-name free agent position players off the board, they can pivot to adding a short-term infield boost in Seager.
New York’s 2022 infield is fluid, which Seager would help smooth over. Towards the end of last season, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone deployed Gio Urshela at shortstop, moving Gleyber Torres to second base. Seager would play third base, resulting in DJ LeMahieu playing first on a full-time basis. A result of this infield configuration would be the team not re-signing first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Signing Seager allows the Yankees to do three things: 1) add a power threat from the left side who can help New York in their quest to win the American League, 2) buy time for top infield prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza to reach the big leagues and 3) extend Aaron Judge.
- Kyle Seager stats (2021): .212/.285/.438, 35 home runs and 101 RBIs across 603 at-bats
Seager improves the Yankees on the left side of the infield, allows them to see how Torres fares at second and keeps the door open for a midseason enhancement from the minor-league ranks. Maybe DJ LeMahieu gets back to being an elite contact hitter and subsequently gives the Yankees’ offense a much-needed jolt? All the while, if Seager doesn’t have a substantial impact, they can move Urshela back to third in 2023 or get a new player at the position altogether.
All that being said, the Yankees may prefer to sign Rizzo over Seager, resulting in LeMahieu playing third and the organization choosing to find their offensive solutions in-house.
2) Kyle Seager stays with the Seattle Mariners
At the end of the day, the 2021 Mariners struggled to generate offense. They surely have the upside to perform better, but keeping Seager allows them to build on last season, where they won 90 games, while preserving the veterans that helped them get through the season (e.g. Kyle Seager and Mitch Haniger).
Seager is a legitimate power threat and therefore someone who creates offense and drives in baserunners. If some of the team’s younger pieces like Jarred Kelenic, Dylan Moore and Abraham Toro become more consistent when it comes to getting on base, Seager’s power begins to be a complement to the developing hitters around him.
Furthermore, Seager’s continued presence gives manager Scott Servais a reliable defensive infield. The long-time Mariner remains at third with J.P. Crawford at short, the recently acquired Adam Frazier at second and Ty France, who was the team’s most encouraging development in 2021, at first.
- Kyle Seager contract prediction: two-year, $28 million deal
Seattle is in the midst of a productive offseason where they’ve added a proven second baseman in Frazier and potentially their new rotation anchor in Robbie Ray. Keeping Seager in the fold while their position players progress makes a lot of sense for Seattle.
At the same time, the Mariners may prefer to get younger at third base while adding players with more versatility; Seager has overwhelmingly played third base throughout his MLB career.
1) Kyle Seager fills a void for the Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay traded infielder Joey Wendle to the Miami Marlins and is in AL pennant contention. Seager would replace Wendle as manager Kevin Cash’s primary third baseman.
The Rays are a defensive-minded team with varying offensive skill sets. As of last season, they’re now also a team that hits for considerable power, as they finished tied for sixth in MLB in home runs (222). Seager checks all those boxes, as he fields his position well, is a power threat, a proven commodity and someone who doesn’t force the Rays to drive up their payroll in the long run.
A starting infield from left-to-right of Seager, Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe and Yandy Diaz/Ji-Man Choi is a defensively sound group. The Rays signing Seager would be similar to how they’ve signed veteran starting pitchers (Chris Archer and Rich Hill) to be short-term replacements for those they’ve traded/lost over the last three seasons (Blake Snell and Charlie Morton). These transactions helped the team in the short term and didn’t cloud their financial outlook.
In this case, though, the Rays would likely get more bang-for-the-buck in Seager than some of their pitching additions; Seager has never been to the playoffs and would likely stick with the Rays for at least a full season.
Seager and the Rays want the same thing, that being to hold up the Commissioner’s Trophy.