On Monday morning, word broke from Yahoo’s Jeff Passan that the Seattle Mariners and third baseman Kyle Seager were nearing a seven-year, $100 million contract extension. There is also reportedly an option year, worth up to $20 million with escalators. Such a deal would keep the recent Gold Glove winner manning the hot corner Seattle through his age 34 season.
Saturday night, Jason A. Churchill and I discussed a potential Seager extension on The Hot Stove Report, a new weekly podcast produced for 1090thefan.com. With reports swirling about a potential five-year deal looming for Pablo Sandoval with the Boston Red Sox, we discussed how that may alter talks between the M’s and Seager’s representatives. We also talked about the importance to lock up Seager now, before the budding star has a chance to dip his toes in the free agency waters. The closer he gets, his leverage is likely to only increase.
This is nothing short of a tremendous deal for both sides. The Mariners lock up one of their own at a reasonable rate over the long term, while Seager will earn more money over his early arbitration years. And neither side has to go through the potentially relationship-straining process provided by those arbitration hearings. Seattle also buys out the first four years of Seager’s free agency years, giving them one less position to fill moving forward.
There’s always risk when you’re talking about this kind of money, but Seager’s skill set is not one conducive to falling off the proverbial cliff — especially not anytime soon. Entering his age 27 season, Seager is entering what is typically the prime for most players at the plate. As long as his defense remains sound for the next several seasons, his value can increase as he fills into a more complete hitter at the plate. Also, should the club surround him with another good hitter or two, there should be less pressure on Seager to be “the guy” hitting behind second baseman Robinson Cano, allowing him to just focus on being his best.
Tune in this afternoon to the Steve Sandmeyer show on 1090 The Fan, and The Hot Stove Report this Saturday, for more analysis of the deal.