Moore: Still waiting for Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager to heat up?
Are you still hanging in there with Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager? Still think he’ll come around? Still making excuses for him?
If you are, you feel like he can still be the player that he was in 2016 when he hit 30 home runs and had 99 runs batted in with an OPS of .859. You continue to love his defense at third base. You believe that another of his slow starts this year can be chalked up to a hand injury in spring training that prevented him from joining the Mariners until June.
Next year it will be something else. Seems like everyone is always waiting for Seager to heat up and wondering why he rarely does.
I was encouraged when I read the stories about Seager and his new offseason program last winter, losing weight and gaining flexibility. When we saw him for the first time in Peoria, he was noticeably trimmer, and maybe that would help, maybe he’d beat the shift by going the opposite way.
But after seeing him hit .190 with an on-base percentage of .270 and an OPS of .611 in 42 games this year, I’m starting to think that Seager could show up as big as Daniel Vogelbach and as small as Dee Gordon and still produce the same disappointing results.
I’m finally done with Seager, and I’m guessing many Mariners fans reached that point a long time ago. I’ve always thought he had a great swing, and anyone with that kind of swing can’t be terrible forever, but clearly I was wrong about that – his swing must have all kinds of holes in it that weren’t apparent to me on the ROOT Sports telecasts.
Yet the Mariners are stuck with him through 2021 because no one is going to want to trade for a player who is owed $19 million next year and $18 million the year after that, not to mention the $7 million or $8 million still coming to him for the rest of this year. Oh, and not to mention the poison pill in his contract – if Seager is traded, he can exercise a player option that guarantees him $15 million in 2022.
What are the Mariners’ best alternative options? None are ideal. I guess we can hope that Ryon Healy returns from his spinal injury next month, but I suspect we might not see him the rest of the season. We can hope that Joe Rizzo speeds up his progress in Modesto because he’s the best third base prospect the Mariners have.
In the meantime, here’s what I’d do: Rather than get some longshot prospect in return for Tim Beckham before the July 31 trading deadline, keep Beckham and platoon him with Seager at third. I know that Beckham would be a downgrade defensively at third, but so what, like extra errors on a team that makes a million of them anyway would matter? And with Beckham, you’ve got a bat in the lineup that can give you something.
Beckham doesn’t factor into this team’s future plans, but again I’ll give you a so what? How about upgrading the present situation and make it a little better than watching Seager and his 0-for-4’s night after night. If Beckham boots grounders and air mails first base with some of his throws, fine by me in exchange for seeing the same old Kyle Seager trotting out to third base for the umpteenth time. He’s 31. He’s not going to get better.
Can you picture Pete Carroll allowing this to happen? Seager starts at third base by default because there is no one to challenge him. With the Seahawks, this would be like a cornerback getting beat week after week and starting him anyway.
With Seager, I don’t get how it makes sense anymore.