Why the Seattle Mariners Should Shop Kyle Seager
The Seattle Mariners are entering a pivotal off-season when determining the future of the franchise. The team has not made the playoffs in 16 years, and with an aging core, time is running out to make it happened this decade.
The Mariners are stuck in the middle of no man land. They have money, but not so much that they can buy their way into the playoffs. They have a few prospects, but not enough impact guys to be major players in the trade market. Seattle’s roster is too good to full rebuild, but not good enough to be a serious World Series threat.
The team needs to pick a direction, and it appears they are unwilling to sell. Seattle wants to buy, but doesn’t have much money to make it work. They are currently bargain hunting, trying to fill out the roster with good depth around the fringes.
The team might go big and splurge on Yu Darvish, but this could cripple what they can do elsewhere. To be true players on the market, the Mariners need to add money, and prospects, to truly be players in this market.
The Mariners could trade Edwin Diaz, but would likely be a 1-1 deal of a young MLB player. Moving James Paxton would bring back a nice haul of prospects, but would be nearly impossible to replace (unless you get Ohtani).
The player that can return help in 2018 and prospects, plus clear money off the books for major additions is none other than Kyle Seager.
Now, understand that there is a big difference between shopping and trading. The Mariners do not have to trade Kyle Seager. In fact, trading Seager after a mediocre season might not be wise. But making Seager available hurts no one. If teams want to try to buy low, you simply decline.
But if a team wants to offer you a 2018 contributor, along with a couple of solid B level prospects, the Mariners should strongly consider. Moving Seager would clear $19 million or so off the books, depending on the player you get back in trade.
Adding solid mid level prospects help improve a depleted farm system, and gives Jerry Dipoto mor ammo to do what he does best.
Finding a team with the right mix of MLB help and prospect depth is difficult. The Yankees make some sense. Trading Seager for Chase Headley and a few prospects would clear roughly $7 million of salary.
The Braves have a black hole at 3rd base, enough MLB pitching depth and prospects to fit the mold as well. San Francisco is looking to add an impact bat, and has a decent prospect pool and several contracts they are looking to move.
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There are options to explore for the Mariners. If they are willing to listen, the possibilities are endless. If not, they are relatively narrow. Seattle does not have to move Seager, and shouldn’t if nobody wants to pay full price. But they should, at the very least, shop him.