SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners inform 3B Kyle Seager they will decline his 2022 option

Oct 31, 2021, 1:33 PM | Updated: 2:04 pm
Mariners Kyle Seager...
Kyle Seager runs onto the field before the team's final game of the 2021 season on Oct. 3. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

The all but inevitable news that Kyle Seager will not be returning to the Mariners in 2022 has arrived as Seattle’s longtime third baseman was informed this week of the team’s decision not to pick up his option, making him a free agent this offseason.

2 Takes: Which free agent makes most sense as No. 1 M’s target?

While there was an early report that the news was delivered to Seager via an email from Mariners assistant general manager Justin Hollander, sources confirm this was necessitated as attempts by general manager/president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto to reach Seager by phone were unsuccessful. The next step was to send official notification to Seager’s agent that the option was declined. The Mariners will now pay out a $2 million buyout and Seager will become a free agent.

The team had until five days following the completion of the World Series to make a decision on Seager.

“I think it is wise business to let emotion not govern a decision and to sit down and logically talk it through,” Dipoto said in his end-of-season press conference when asked about both Seager’s option and an option in pitcher Yusei Kikuchi’s contract. “And we will do that.”

The writing had been on the wall for some time with the Mariners and Seager, however, with the relationship between Seager and the Seattle front office seemingly strained in recent years.

The emotion found in the stands and on the field this season signaled a knowledge that Seager’s tenure was coming to an end, as he was embraced by both the fanbase and teammates, especially on the final day of the season with tributes and tearful salutes to the man teammates called “Cap.”

Mariners’ Kyle Seager gets emotional sendoff from T-Mobile Park crowd

This season, Seager passed Jay Buhner for the fourth-most games played in Mariners history. He leaves the organization with a slash line of .251/.321/.442 (.763 OPS) over 11 seasons and ranking in the team’s top five in numerous offensive categories. In 2021, he posted a line of .212/.285/.438 (.723), set career-highs in home runs (35) and RBIs (101), and had the fourth-highest fWAR among Mariners position players.

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