Blue Jays: The pros and cons with signing potential free agent Kyle Seager
The Toronto Blue Jays finished just shy of the postseason this year, one win away from reaching at least a tiebreaker to try and earn a spot in the one-and-done playoff game. While this is disappointing, the Blue Jays had a pretty great season and saw numerous players perform above and beyond expectations, with multiple members of the young core assuming a bigger role in their first full year of Major League Baseball.
The club does have a few players heading to free agency in Marcus Semien, Robbie Ray, and Steven Matz and the Jays will look a lot different heading into next season if all three sign elsewhere this winter. Looking at the bigger picture, if all three players do leave the team, the biggest holes on the club are going to be in the starting rotation (one or two more starters would go a long way), the bullpen, and at third base.
The club did explore a Jose Ramirez deal this past trade deadline but nothing came out of the discussions for the time being, so if the front office does not want to trade a boatload of prospects in an effort to improve third base, there may be a potential free agent who could fill in and wouldn’t break the bank for a club that CEO Mark Shaprio says “…every indication we’ve been shown is a demonstration of consistent and strong support along with us fulfilling our end of the bargain, which is demonstrating that the team continues to improve.”
Mariners infielder Kyle Seager could become a free agent this offseason, providing the Blue Jays with a potential option for third base next year and beyond
Drafted by the Seattle Mariners back in 2009, third baseman Kyle Seager has spent his entire 11-year career with the organization that drafted him, crafting a .251/.321/.442 slash line with 242 home runs, 807 RBI, and a .763 OPS through 1480 games. He currently sits fourth on the Mariners franchise leaderboard in terms of games played, home runs, and RBI and fifth in terms of walks (533).
Seager has a $20 million dollar club option for the 2022 season with a $2 million dollar buyout, a move that many are speculating the Mariners are going to do this offseason and set him loose to free agency. The club could pick up the option and he wouldn’t become a free agent until after next season, especially since his market value per Spotrac is valued at $18.9 million, but the writing appears to be on the wall at least for the time being.
If Seager does become a free agent, should the Blue Jays take a chance on the lefty slugger? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Lefty Power Bat
For his career, Seager has been a major force in the Mariners’ batting order. Besides his rookie season where he only played 53 games and last year’s shortened season, the North Carolina product has hit 20+ home runs each season with a minimum of 60 RBI. He continued his power stroke last season as well, hitting 35 over the outfield wall with 101 RBI. Having him on the left side to compliment right-handers Teoscar Hernandez, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could make an already powerful lineup that much stronger and could possibly keep the four-man 100 RBI group alive if Semien decides to head elsewhere.
No Prospects Needed
While fans would be ecstatic if the Blue Jays were able to acquire Jose Ramirez from the Guardians, the front office will need to include some top prospects in any potential deal to get both sides to agree.
While the risk is high as well as the reward, signing Seager does not cost the Blue Jays any prospects considering he cannot be given a qualifying offer from the Mariners, meaning the club doesn’t lose any draft picks next year. If the farm system still had Austin Martin, Simeon Woods-Richardson, and Riley Adams in the fold, a deal would make more sense but to deplete the system furthermore is a tall order that could provide some circa 2015 excitement but have the front office kicking themselves in the future.
Seager may not provide as much stability at the plate compared to Ramirez but to sign him won’t cost them any prospects, which is something fans who value Orelivs Martinez and Alejandro Kirk may be on board with.
In a day and age where stars across the league are finding themselves on the injured list with consistency, Kyle Seager has been relatively healthy for pretty much his entire career. He has played in at least 150+ games every season besides his rookie year, last season, and in 2019 when he underwent left-hand surgery, which is a good stat to have as he turns 34 this offseason.
Whatever he is doing is working, especially since he plays a majority of the time in the field with only a handful of starts as the designated hitter or on the bench each season.