Kyle Seager retires from MLB after 11 seasons with Mariners
Mariners legend Kyle Seager is going out on a high note.
Seager, the longest-tenured Mariners player on the team’s 2021 roster, announced his retirement from Major League Baseball in a statement released on his wife Julie Seager’s Twitter account on Wednesday morning. The one-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner hit free agency for the first time this offseason but will retire having spent his entire career with the M’s.
“Today I’m announcing my retirement from Major League Baseball,” Seager’s statement reads. “Thank you to all of my family, friends and fans for following me throughout my career. It’s been a wonderful ride but I am unbelievably excited for the next chapter of my life.”
Kyle Seager. Clutch. pic.twitter.com/kG4mziZp29
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) June 18, 2021
In some ways, Seager had the biggest season of his 11-year MLB career in 2021, finishing with career-high numbers in home runs (35) and RBIs (101). He posted a slash line of .212/.285/.438 for an OPS of .723 while playing in 159 of the Mariners’ 162 games. Seattle went 90-72 in 2021, its best record since 2003 and the most wins since Seager arrived in 2011.
The Mariners signed Seager to a seven-year, $100 million contract extension in December 2014, four years after his MLB debut. With his retirement, that contract effectively made him a Mariner for life.
Seager’s name is all over the Mariners career leaderboards, including games played (1,480), hits (1,395) and home runs (242), each of which he ranks fourth all-time in team history. He finishes his career with at least 20 home runs in nine straight seasons – not counting the shortened 2020 campaign when he had nine, which put him on pace for 24 homers in a full 162-game season. He also was an ironman, playing 154 games or more in eight of his nine full seasons following his July 2011 MLB debut.
Among many notable accomplishments in his career, Seager hit three home runs in a game against Detroit in 2019, homered in the same game as his brother, then-Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, and made a diving stop that preserved James Paxton’s no-hitter in 2018.
— MLB (@MLB) May 9, 2018
He was also one of the more feared left-handed hitters against left-handed pitchers during his career, with 86 of his 242 homers coming against southpaws, showed a flair for drama with numerous game-winning home runs, and tortured the Rangers whenever the Mariners played in Texas (so much so that his 118 RBIs against Texas since his first full season is the most by one player against a single opponent during that stretch, according to Rangers broadcaster Jared Sandler).
Seattle selected Seager in the third round of the MLB Draft out of North Carolina in 2009, just two rounds after the Mariners picked Dustin Ackley, his UNC teammate, second overall. It was Seager who became the star for Seattle, however, making the American League All-Star team and winning the AL Gold Glove at third base in 2014. His best overall season was 2016 when he had a slash line of .278/.359/.499 for an OPS of .859 – all career highs – with 30 home runs and 99 RBIs.
Seattle gave Seager a big, emotional sendoff at T-Mobile Park in the Mariners’ final game of the 2021 season on Oct. 3, though at the time it was thought he would just be leaving for another team in free agency, not retiring.