The Seattle Mariners decided to decline their $15 million player option for their third baseman Kyle Seager. As a result, the 34-year-old third baseman has become a free agent and the Colorado Rockies could be one of the teams looking at adding Seager.
There are a few reasons why the Colorado Rockies could, should, and shouldn’t be looking at Seager this offseason.
The Colorado Rockies could use Kyle Seager to replace Trevor Story in the infield.
Kyle Seager would not be a direct replacement for the Colorado Rockies in replacing Trevor Story at shortstop but he could replace him in the infield.
If the Rockies were to sign him, Seager would play third base and Ryan McMahon would slide over to second base full-time. McMahon is a natural third baseman but he primarily played second base before 2021 since Nolan Arenado played third base. In 2021, some defensive metrics suggest that McMahon was actually better at second base as, in fact, he led the NL in fDRS at second base, despite only playing 30 percent of his games at second base.
Seager also would provide the Rockies with a middle-of-the-order bat. In 2021, he hit 35 home runs and 101 RBI, both of which were career highs for the veteran of 11 seasons.
He’d also be relatively cheap because of his age. He would be more of a stop-gap until younger prospects, like Elehuris Montero or Aaron Schunk, make it to the majors.
Kyle Seager is not a perfect fit for the Colorado Rockies, though.
Kyle Seager is a left-handed hitter and the Colorado Rockies have their share of left-handed hitters.
They have the aforementioned Ryan McMahon, Charlie Blackmon, Raimel Tapia, Sam Hilliard, and Dom Nuñez. Especially in the middle of the order (as the team is currently constructed), adding Seager may make the middle of the lineup too left-handed heavy.
Secondly, in 2021, he hit for an awful average and a poor OBP. He hit .212 and had an OBP of .285. For perspective, that’s about what the Rockies as a team hit on the road last season.
Could it be a fluke? The numbers don’t say it’s that far off base. Since 2017, he has had an average of .231 with an OBP of .304. Seager’s OBP was abnormally high in the abnormal year of 2020 so that .355 mark is a bit of a fluke itself.
Since 2017, his OBP each season has been .323, .273, .321, .355, and .285. It should also be noted that in the .321 year (2019), Seager was injured for a good chunk of the season as he only played in 106 games.
His defense has also slipped as well. He won a Gold Glove in 2014 and he had 15 DRS that year. He had 10, 13, and 7 in the following seasons, respectively. But since then, he has had -3, 8, -3, and -3 DRS.
So could Seager help the Rockies? Absolutely, he could but he’s not a perfect fit for the team for a number of reasons. If the Rockies could get him on a one-year deal, then it should be someone the Rockies take a look at (“there’s no such thing as a bad one-year deal”).
MLBTR predicts Seager will get a two-year deal for $24 million. For the Rockies, that would likely be a move they’d pass on for that price and, frankly, they should. If he gets that, the Rockies should pivot to a player that will be a bit cheaper or a player that’s better (and, therefore, more expensive).