Reason no. 2 – Mariners legend Kyle Seager isn’t the same player
I love Kyle, and always will. But there comes a time when the Mariners future becomes the priority, and that time is now. I am not suggesting that Seattle should just give up on him and trade him/release him/bench him, but I suggest slotting him in at DH. I want Ty France to take at least 80% of the reps at third, while Kyle takes the remaining 20%.
One big reason for me is Seager’s defense has continued to decline over the years. His defensive WAR reached a career-low in 2018 (-0.5) and he posted another negative WAR in 2020 (-0.4). When he won the Gold Glove in 2014, he posted a 2.2 dWAR.
Seager’s defensive runs saved have also been trending in the wrong direction. In 2018, he posted -10 defensive runs saved, minus one in 2019, and -13 in 2020. During his Gold Glove season, he saved 15 defensive runs.
I am sure much of this has to do with age so why not give him breaks? Playing 162 games is tough and if we want to see Kyle in a Mariners jersey for a longer time, we should take his health into more consideration.
The less time he spends on the infield grinding, the longer we might be able to extend his career. If Seager wants to be a part of the #SeaUsRise Mariners, he probably won’t be playing third anyways. So, he could practice being the future DH, beginning this year.
Who knows, if we let Kyle focus more on his hitting maybe it will help him get back to his All-Star season and hit .268 with 25 home runs. There have been plenty of veterans who have produced at Seager’s age and maybe it’s time he reverts to that veteran DH role like Nelson Cruz.
One last thing, I want Kyle Seager to start at third on Opening Day for celebratory reasons but after that, it should mostly be France at the hot corner.
Last but not least, reason number three.