For the next few days, we’ll be taking looks at each of these top four, their top suitors ... and ranking ‘em. There are plenty of teams who want the top-tier options, the platinum plan, the Glengarry leads. But who’s most likely to sign them? That’s the goal of the Free Agency Power Rankings: To give you our best guess.
Today, we hit Seager, a former National League Rookie of the Year Award winner who has had some injury struggles but, helpfully, has had the best two seasons of his career over the last two years. He’s also a World Series -- and NLCS -- MVP, a consistent on-base threat, a team leader, relatively young and, not insignificantly, a left-handed batter. His defense isn’t where Correa’s is -- or, for that matter, Javier Báez’s -- and he might have to shift to third base at some point during his (presumably) long contract, but with a player like this, you make whatever adjustments you need to make.
For now though, let’s make some Seager predictions.
The Yankees make all kinds of sense. They’ve got a history of signing marquee free agents. They need a shortstop. Just as much, they need a left-handed hitter to balance out their lineup. If Seager has to move to third base at some point, they’ve got shortstops in their system who can take over there -- or they could just sign another one. Seager also has no association with the Astros, and, thus, is not reviled by the fanbase. Seager seems like the perfect fit if this is what the Yankees want to do. And if it’s what Seager wants to do, of course.
The team he has spent his entire career with isn’t out of the running. The Dodgers have Trea Turner and can shift him to shortstop if they want, but there’s a reason they played him at second: Shortstop was Seager’s position. It’s the only organization Seager has ever known, he has won a championship with them, the fans love him and would be delighted to see him back. There’s little doubt Seager would return to the team if the price is right. That’s the question: With Turner, how motivated are the Dodgers to make certain they don’t lose Seager? Because if they truly want him, they can keep him.
The first two teams listed are the obvious top contenders, the heavyweights. Despite their obvious pitching issues, the Angels always seem to get in on guys like this, not to mention shortstop is one of their weakest positions. Sure, they need more rotation help -- though at this point, innings eaters seem to be their highest priority -- but one way to help out a weak pitching staff is to put out a lineup that goes Shohei Ohtani/Mike Trout/Seager/Anthony Rendon/Jared Walsh. The pitching still has to be better with that lineup, but it doesn’t have to be that much better.
The Phillies seem to have the right combination of shortstop struggles -- Didi Gregorius was not good last year -- and desperation to win to go after Seager, who would fit in snugly in their lineup. (Though they would probably want to split him and Bryce Harper, a fellow left-handed hitter, in the lineup.) However, the Phillies have other needs as well, and there are hints that they might not spend quite as freely on big-ticket free agents as they have in the past. There’s no question that they could use Seager, though, and there’s also no question that, at this particular moment, the clock is ticking on this team’s proverbial window.
Not a terrible sleeper, right? He obviously knows the territory, considering how long his brother played there. With Kyle Seager now a free agent, it might not be in the cards for both brothers to grace Seattle's roster at the same time, but it's nice to think about a package deal somehow happening. J.P. Crawford is an obstacle, but Corey Seager would be quite a guy to build around for the next half decade, and it’s not like he’s blocked at the hot corner, either.
They’re more commonly connected to Correa, but if the Tigers are trying to find that superstar piece to go along with all their young talent, Seager is a more than adequate consolation prize.
Seager would be the absolute perfect fit for the Cardinals' offense. Shortstop is the obvious weak spot in their lineup, and they’re also extremely overbalanced and in need of a lefty bat. Seager might be the weak defensive link, but hey, that happens when you have five Gold Glove winners. (He’d also be stuck at shortstop; fair to say Nolan Arenado is not moving off third.) This is not the sort of big-ticket free agent the Cardinals ever go after, so this option is probably far from the likeliest of the choices on this list.
The team that constantly keeps showing up in these rankings more out of rumor than logic, the Rangers could choose Seager to be the guy who tries to jump-start their next pennant run -- but they'd need a lot more. Seager has been in the playoffs every year of his career (sans 2018, injuries), and he had some heroic moments at Globe Life Field during the 2020 postseason. Would he want to go to a place where contention is a few years away?
They’ll need a shortstop if Correa leaves, but it would seem rather strange to let Correa go and then turn around and sign Seager. If you’re going to spend for Seager, just go ahead and spend for Correa.
I mean, who knows what the Mets will do? But if he’s willing to play third base, maybe?