|Seager's underrated but still worth the money (FootballsFuture)|
Hold the phone, Seattle just gave $100 million to whom?
Since debuting in 2011, Seager has quietly established himself as one of the better (and more underappreciated) players in the game. Over the past three years, Seager was the sixth-best third baseman in baseball per fWAR, ahead of established superstars such as Evan Longoria, Hanley Ramirez, and Pablo Sandoval.
While Seager is not well-known, he's worthy of this deal for a number of reasons. One is that he's just 27, smack dab in the middle of his prime. Another is that he's a great two-way third baseman, and thus excels at a tough position.
But really, Seager deserves the dough because he's a terrific baseball player. He's steadily improved throughout his four big league seasons, peaking with last year's 5.5 fWAR, first All-Star appearance, and first Gold Glove (which should have gone to Josh Donaldson, but Seager's smooth defensively nevertheless). He also popped 25 home runs--his third straight season with at least 20--and knocked in 96 runs, both career highs.
Wait, there's more. Seager's incredibly durable, having played at least 155 games in each of the last three years and leading all third basemen in games played during that span. He doesn't strike out a lot for a guy with good power and walks a fair amount. His offense was 26 percent better than average last year after adjustments for league and park, and like I said his numbers have only trended upwards. Even if 2014 was his peak and he regresses back to the player he was in 2012 and 2013, he's still a 3.5 win guy, which is very valuable, especially to a team on the brink of contention like the Mariners.
This deal makes a ton of sense for Seattle, setting them up at the hot corner for the foreseeable future. It also makes a ton of sense for Seager, because $100 million is a lot of money.