The San Diego Padres are reportedly looking for a third baseman. The Seattle Mariners have been shopping Kyle Seager. Is there a fit between these two teams?
First, the Mariners and Padres must answer an important question: how valuable is Seager? Do the Padres believe Seager can rebound off the worst season of his career? Are the Mariners better off keeping Seager and hoping he regains some of his value with a solid second half?
For the sake of this discussion, let’s assume the Padres are interested and the Mariners decide to move on from the future Mariners Hall of Famer. Could they even make it work financially or value wise? Let’s take a look.
For starters, Seager’s current contract has 3-years remaining for a guaranteed $56 million. He also has an option, which complicates things, worth $15 million. The reason the option is complicated is that if Seager is traded, the club option becomes a players option.
The acquiring team, in this case, the Padres, have to assume that Seager will accept the option, making him a 4-year, $71 million investment. The Padres are not the Yankees or Red Sox, so the contract complicates things. The Mariners would almost certainly have to eat a significant amount of money or take on a bad contract to help even out the money.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, the Padres currently have just 2 “big money” free agents on their roster: Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers. Hosmer was just inked to his massive deal last off-season and, like Seager, is coming off a bad year. That doesn’t make much sense for either side.
Myers does make some sense and has already been linked to the Mariners this off-season. Kind of. On the surface, the trade does make some sense for both teams. Myers is guaranteed 4-years and $64 million on his contract, plus a $20 million club option for 2023. Money wise, the deal makes some sense.
However, for the Mariners, acquiring Myers for Seager would open up 2 more question marks: who is the new 3rd baseman? And where do you play Myers? Defensively, Myers has been a question mark, to say the least. He is, at best, an average defensive outfielder.
But there again, we have a problem with where Myers fits. The Mariners are pretty set in the outfield and have a log jam at first base and DH. Myers is an above-average but unspectacular bat, and with no true position, the deal falls apart pretty quickly.
Unless the Mariners believe Myers is a long-term part of their franchise (which is possible), the idea of a Seager for Myers swap may have too many holes in it to get off the ground.
When you eliminate the salary dump option, the Seager to the Padres’ idea begins to show more holes. For the Mariners to get anything worthwhile for Seager, they would need to eat massive portions of his salary.
In order for this deal to get off the ground, the Mariners probably need to see Seager as a straight salary dump, something Jerry Dipoto has yet to do this off-season. Every contract that Dipoto has moved has served a purpose to even out money on both sides of a deal.
Unless both sides are interested in a Seager-Myers trade, it is highly unlikely that the Padres are a good fit for Kyle Seager.