For Mariners fans, the beginning of the winter meetings was all about Mitch Haniger‘s trade rumors. Now, not even a week later, we are all focused on a different player.
Of course, the focus of Mariners fandom has shifted from Mitch Haniger’s trade rumors to the revelation that teams are interested in Kyle Seager, something that was previously considered ridiculous. But in the rush to overanalyze a simple rumor, many have cruised past the logical stopping point.
The simple truth is that trading Kyle Seager is not something Seattle has to do. We aren’t even close to that point and we probably will never get there. You see, so many fans believe that trading Seager’s contract will somehow lead to the team spending more money down the road. But there is no evidence this is the case.
The Mariner’s current 40-man payroll figure hovers around $100 million, including the portions of salaries they are covering from trade assets like Jay Bruce and Robinson Cano. In 2018, the last year they tried to compete for a playoff spot, the payroll exceeded $170 million.
This figure, $170 million, is probably a good expectation for the Mariners to have when they decide they are ready to make their playoff run. But for now, it is all about playing young guys and those guys come cheap (at least to the payroll). Simply put, Seattle’s payroll doesn’t need to be relieved. It is in great shape, both in 2020 and beyond.
And let’s be honest, no team is going to take on all of Kyle Seager’s salary, meaning the Mariners will need to eat money to facilitate a trade. Why should the Mariners spend money to get rid of a player who, A. isn’t blocking anybody’s playing time in 2020 and b, Could see his trade value significantly increase by July?
Demanding Jerry Dipoto trade Seager doesn’t accomplish anything of value. The return for Seager is likely minimal and would require serious money being sent to get no value in return. If Seager was blocking promising young talent like Jay Bruce was, we could have this discussion. But the next everyday Mariners’ third baseman likely hasn’t even played in full-season ball.
Now, you should certainly listen to all inquiries on Seager and any player for that matter, because you never know what could pop. But treating Seager as a must-do salary dump is simply moronic. There is no value in a Zack Cozart style deal and as such, shouldn’t even be considered.
Trade rumors are fun and we will certainly continue to examine the market and rumors surrounding Seager. But any deal that starts with the idea that the Mariners are just trying to dump Seager’s salary should be an automatic no-go for Jerry Dipoto and his crew.