Kyle Seager Interesting Stop Gap Third Base Option
The New York Mets desperately need a third baseman. This has basically been the case since David Wright initially went down in 2015, and it’s the case now.
There’s two issues with filling that vacancy. First and foremost, the third base free agent pool is not great. Case-in-point, Kris Bryant is far and away the best option, and he may not be a third baseman anymore.
The Mets could try to sign a shortstop like or Corey Seager to move them to third, but that’s easier said than done. If you can sign any one of them, you do it.
Yes, that’s the case when the Mets have Mark Vientos and Brett Baty. Neither are guaranteed to succeed in the majors or stick at third. Notably, for a Mets system bereft of outfield talent, both players have played some left field.
This leaves the Mets with a conundrum. They can’t hand the position to a prospect. For some reason, they don’t trust Jeff McNeil. It’ll be difficult to get a shortstop and move him to third.
Seager, 34, is very clearly past his prime. He’s not the 5+ WAR player he was five years ago. The Mets don’t need him to be that. Really, they just need him to be Seager.
In 159 games last year, Seager hit a woeful .212/.285/.438 with good power numbers. Seager had 29 doubles, a triple, 35 homers, and 101 RBI. Ultimately, he had a 100 OPS+ making him the epitome of a league average hitter.
Behind those numbers was a dip in his walk rate, an uptick in his strikeout rate, and a shockingly low .226 BABIP. While he’s traditionally been a lower BABIP guy, he’s never really been that low.
Judging from Baseball Savant, Seager is still able to square up a ball and drive it. After all, you don’t play in Safeco and hit 35 homers without that ability. Still, his exit velocity dipped in three straight years.
With better plate discipline, and his working with a hitting coach (whoever that will be), Seager could be better than he was in 2021. At the very least, he could be back around league average even if the numbers look different.
If that’s the case, that would be great news for a team like the Mets. While Seager is known for his power, the real value lies in his glove. While he’s not the Gold Glover he once was, he’s still very good at the position.
In 2021, Seager had a 4 OAA. That’s a slight uptick from the 3 OAA he had in 2019 and 2020. That 4 OAA ranked tied for eighth in the majors. His 13 OAA since 2019 also ranks eighth.
Seager is a very good glove, and that’s of increased importance with the Mets. While the pitching staff will be rebuilt, they still have ground ball pitchers in Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker as locks for the rotation.
Adding Seager at third would improve the Mets. His glove would make the pitching better, and there’s still something in that bat. In the event the Mets can’t convince a Correa to move to third, Seager is definitely the stopgap option which would help improve this team.