Corey Seager is part of a star-studded shortstop/middle infield MLB free-agent class. Alongside Seager, the likes of Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, Trevor Story and Marcus Semien are free agents. Sticking with Seager, the former Los Angeles Dodgers’ shortstop is playing the best baseball of his career of late.
- Corey Seager stats (2021): .306/.394/.521, 16 home runs and 57 RBIs across 353 at-bats
A compact hitter from the left side and a smooth fielder, the 27-year-old Seager has become one of the elite shortstops in baseball. The former first-round draft selection is poised to receive a mammoth, long-term deal this offseason as he enters the prime of his MLB career.
Here are three ideal free agent destinations for Corey Seager.
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3. Corey Seager to the Detroit Tigers
The Tigers made significant progress in 2021, which was powered by a young starting rotation taking the next step and a handful of position players providing pop in the batter’s box. Now it’s time for the Tigers to get busy in free agency, and Seager fits the bill.
Detroit’s shortstop situation is fluid. While Harold Castro and Niko Goodrum have had their moments and in Castro’s case been efficient, neither player should hinder the front office from making an infield splash. Throw Seager at short, and manager A.J. Hinch has a reliable and well-rounded infield.
Third baseman Jeimer Candelario is coming off the best season of his big-league career at the plate while holding his own at the hot corner. Veteran Jonathan Schoop had a plausible season and showcased versatility playing both first and second base. Maybe Castro moves to second base on a full-time basis next season? Plus, top prospect Spencer Torkelson could make his MLB debut next season, further bolstering the Tigers’ infield.
At the end of the day, the Tigers have compelling players like Eric Haase and Akil Baddoo, but they don’t have a top-level hitter. Incorporating Seager’s electric bat into the order takes the Tigers’ offense to the next level while their young players continue to progress.
The Chicago White Sox are the clear-cut best team in the American League Central, but the rest of the division is precarious, meaning the Tigers have the opportunity to finish with a winning record in 2022. With Seager present, maybe they’re a dark horse for an AL Wild Card seeding?
The factor that may halt a Seager-Tigers marriage is them preferring to not take away reps from their youngsters. Detroit could also feel more inclined to sign Correa over Seager given the former’s experience playing for Hinch.
2. Corey Seager to the Miami Marlins
The Marlins failed to build on their 2020 playoff appearance, as they finished with just 67 wins last season. This franchise desperately needs offense, and that comes from a combination of trading young arms for young bats and making a free agent splash. Seager would be a transcendent addition for manager Don Mattingly’s ballclub.
The Marlins were 28th in MLB in hits (1,244), batting average (.233) and home runs (158) and 29th in runs (623) and OPS (.671) last season. That’s terrible. Furthermore, it’s a shame that they’re wasting a splendid starting rotation and pitching staff as a whole, which underscores the urgency to sign someone like Seager.
Let’s indulge in an optimistic viewpoint for the Marlins with Seager in place. Seager at short and Jazz Chisholm at second is a stout middle infield duo with upside, as the latter has just one full MLB season under his belt. First baseman Lewin Diaz flashed power down the stretch. Veteran Brian Anderson had an off year, partially due to injury, and should get back to being a reliable .800 OPS player who fields the hot corner and right field well.
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Seager takes this offense from being one of the worst units in MLB to a respectable bunch; that’s a considerable jump. He gives them a permanent answer at a vital position. A mere competent offense is supposed to be enough for the Marlins to at least compete for the NL East.
The Marlins recently re-signed veteran shortstop Miguel Rojas, but they could turn him into a multipurpose infielder who plays all positions. It’s a long season, and injuries will occur.
Speaking of injuries, however, health has crippled Seager at times throughout his career, as he was limited to 95 games last season and missed extensive time in previous seasons. The Marlins may prefer to give out a $200-plus million contract to a player with a better injury history.
1. Corey Seager to the New York Yankees
The Yankees are running out of answers and time. Seager represents an essential last-ditch effort for them to win the World Series with the core at hand. The shortstop improves manager Aaron Boone’s depth chart in multiple ways.
Gleyber Torres has been severely inconsistent over the last two years and struggled at shortstop. Seager moves Torres back to second base, where he played a lot across the first two seasons of his big-league career. While they were more balanced in the summer, Seager would continue an effort to even out the Yankees’ offense when it concerns the amount of right and left-handed hitters.
Offensively, Seager would be an impact signing for the Yankees. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were the constants last season while basically everyone else was a guessing game. They need more consistent offense. Having Seager hit in-between Judge and Stanton with a rejuvenated DJ LeMahieu at the top gives the Yankees an elite one-through-four.
Seager slugs at a high level, strikes out at a low rate and is sturdy at short. If the Yankees can find a way to keep Anthony Rizzo in the fold, they’d have a superb defensive infield with the veteran first baseman, Torres, LeMahieu and Seager. All the while, they project to have an elite defensive outfield with Joey Gallo, Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge from left-to-right.
In short: Seager improves the Yankees’ offense and defense while making it more difficult for teams to pitch to them. At the moment, the Yankees have the highest payroll in MLB, and Judge is due for an extension. That said, this is a team trying to break through in a division that’s stiff long term with the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays present and vibrant.
Corey Seager’s skill set is precisely what the Yankees need, and the player himself gets to compete for a World Series.