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MLB Roundup 12/30: Kyle Seager announces his retirement

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Surprising news in a dead period of the winter.

Los Angeles Angels v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Kyle Seager announces retirement

It’s been a dead zone on the baseball news landscape, what with that whole lockout shutting transactions down for the foreseeable future. That has cut off most forms of news, but players of course still have the ability to hang up their cleats, which is what happened on Wednesday. In a bit of surprising news, long-time Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager announced his retirement from baseball.

Although Seager was certainly in the latter half of his career, it didn’t appear the end of said career was imminent last season. In 2021, Seager’s age-33 season, he hit .212/.285/.438 for a 99 wRC+, slugging 35 homers. Only David Ortiz hit more homers in the season immediately preceding his retirement. Seager was a third round pick by the Mariners back in 2009 and has spent his entire career with the organization. A free agent this winter, it seemed the Mariners were ready to move on with rumors connecting them to players like Kris Bryant, and it’s possible Seager simply decided he didn’t want to start over with a new organization.

Whatever the reason, he leaves behind what was a very good career. He’s not going to get a plaque in Cooperstown, but he made his mark on the Seattle franchise and was one of the better players in the American League throughout his 11-year big-league career. Though he didn’t get a ton of award recognition, making just one All-Star team and winning a single Gold Glove, he always produced. Seager was consistently an above-average hitter while playing plus defense at the third corner. In his three-year peak from 2014 through 2016, only 14 position players in the league produced more fWAR.

Why Boston Red Sox fans should care: Well, the Ortiz connection is interesting for one thing. Beyond that, there’s not a huge affect here. I suppose it makes the Mariners more likely than they already were to pursue Bryant, but the Red Sox haven’t been connected to that market at all this winter. There was also an outside possibility they’d look to change positions for Rafael Devers this winter, and Seager could have been a stopgap option at third base. But again, any discussion of that was speculation at best.