Moore: Why I think the Mariners shouldn’t trade 3B Kyle Seager
The MLB trade deadline is Monday, and we’ve heard Kyle Seager’s name as one of the top candidates to be dealt by the Mariners.
We all know the reasons why – he’s not young enough to be part of a contending team in the future (he’ll turn 33 on Nov. 3), and he makes too much money ($19 million this year and $18 million in 2021).
But there are more reasons why the Mariners should keep Seager, and I hope they value those more than the others.
On the list of the Keep Seager Reasons:
• The poison pill in his contract that says if he’s traded, a year is added to his contract in which he’d make a minimum of $15 million and as much as $20 million in 2022. Talk about a deterrent to acquiring him, lessening the return you’d get for him.
• Who in the farm system projects to be as good as Seager at third base in 2022 or 2023, years when you like to think the Mariners will be contending for playoff berths? Maybe Noelvi Marte will move from shortstop to third, but he’s only 18 now and likely won’t be ready until the mid 2020s. Is there anyone else in the system that could take over and provide the numbers that Seager, even at the age of 34 or 35, could give you in 2022 or 2023? I tend to think not.
• Seager has slimmed down and taken off as a hitter. A hand injury in spring training contributed to a slow start last year, but he had a strong finish to the 2019 season and has picked up where he left off this year. Seager is hitting .290 with five home runs and 24 runs batted in, numbers that project to 26 HRs and 122 RBIs in a 162-game season. He also has an OPS of .875, more than acceptable, and although he has committed four errors this year, Seager has always been an above-average third baseman.
I know he won’t be the same player as time goes on. But you can’t have young players at every position, can you? And what if that projected great third baseman, whoever that might be, struggles in his first two years while he adjusts to big-league pitching? Wouldn’t you rather have a slightly less than what he used to be Kyle Seager at third base as a veteran presence who can help you on the field and in the clubhouse?
I’ve gone from disliking the poison pill in his contract to being glad that it’s there, greatly increasing the chances that the Mariners keep Seager.