Mariners’ Scott Servais on Kyle Seager’s leadership: ‘I can’t say enough about the job he’s done’
Kyle Seager is the Mariners’ longest-tenured player, entering his 11th season with the team.
He’s won a Gold Glove, played in an All-Star game and is as much a fixture in the heart of Seattle’s order now as he’s ever been.
He ranks in the top five in franchise history in career home runs, hits, doubles, total bases, runs scored, RBIs, WAR, games played, and… well, the list goes on.
So when then-Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather slighted Seager as “probably overpaid” and essentially said there was no way Seattle would bring him back once his contract ends after the 2021 season in a now infamous Feb. 5 speech that led to Mather’s resignation, it was a pretty shocking thing to hear about one of the greatest players to ever wear an M’s uniform.
Especially when you compare that to what Mariners manager Scott Servais has to say about Seager’s value both on the field and as a clubhouse presence.
Servais had nothing but glowing praise for Seager when he joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Tuesday, most notably when discussing how the 33-year-old third baseman has embraced leading a new generation of Mariners players.
“I can’t say enough about the job he’s done in a leadership role with our group,” Servais said of Seager. “Of course a lot of players, young players, they have questions and they need somewhere to go oftentimes, and they’re going to go to their teammates before they ever go to myself or coaching staff. So having those veteran players in your clubhouse is so, so important in making sure we’re driving the right messaging to them.”
Not all players would accept the leadership role Seager has for a rebuilding team like Seattle. The Mariners were in a much different position when he signed a seven-year, $100 million contract extension in 2014, and other players with his tenure and accolades may have pushed for a trade to a contender at any point since Seattle finished eight games short of a postseason berth in 2018 and began a rebuild that offseason.
Seager has stuck around, however, and Servais said he has his mind set on playing a key role in a 2021 season where the Mariners could turn some heads.
“Seags is in a good place. He wants to win, he wants to surprise a few people this year and he knows we have the talent to do it. Does it come together in time or quick enough? We’re going to find out,” Servais said. “But it’s never easy when you put together the time and effort Kyle has put in throughout his career here and he hasn’t been in a playoff game and he wants to play those meaningful games when we get into September. He’s in a good spot, he looks great, he swung the bat really good the other day (in the Mariners’ Cactus League opener Sunday).
“…I know he’s at the point (where) he wants to win and I think he sees what I see and what a lot of us around this team (see) every day, that this group is different than maybe some of the other groups he’s been a part of based on talent and where they are in their careers and how they go about working every day.”
You can hear Servais’ full comments in his interview on Danny and Gallant in the podcast at this link or in the player below.