One of the most coveted free agents on the market has found a new home. Former Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager has agreed to terms with the Rangers on a massive contract. Jeff Passan of ESPN was first with the news.
BREAKING: Star shortstop Corey Seager and the Texas Rangers are in agreement on a 10-year, $325 million deal, sources familiar with the situation tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 29, 2021
Seager declined the one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer, which means the Dodgers will get a compensatory pick after the fourth round of the 2022 draft.
It’s been a busy few days for the Rangers, who also reportedly signed Marcus Semien to a seven-year, $175 million deal, and also agreed to terms with pitcher Jon Gray and outfielder Kole Calhoun.
Seager hit .306/.394/.521, a 147 wRC+ with 16 home runs in 95 games in 2021, a season that saw him miss 11 weeks with a broken hand. Among major league batters with at least 600 plate appearances since the start of 2020, Seager’s 148 wRC+ ranks sixth, a premium batter who is still in his prime, turning 28 in April.
A composite of various national MLB publications had Seager consistently rated as the second-best free agent on the market behind Carlos Correa, and the average projected contract for Seager just under nine years at over $30 million per season.
The Dodgers drafted Seager 18th overall in the first round in 2012 out of high school in North Carolina. Entering the 2016 season, Seager was the consensus top prospect in MLB and lived up to the hype, winning Rookie of the Year unanimously while finishing third in National League MVP voting.
Despite playing only six seasons with the Dodgers — including having five months of 2018 wiped out by Tommy John surgery and an arthroscopic hip procedure, having 2020 truncated by a pandemic, and a hit by pitch eating up 40 percent of 2021 — Seager’s 100 home runs as a shortstop (of his 104 career homers) rank second-most in Dodgers franchise history, behind Pee Wee Reese, who hit 122 home runs at the position in his 16-year, Hall of Fame career.
Seager’s pinnacle came during the 2020 postseason, during which he hit .328/.425/.746 with eight home runs, winning both NLCS MVP and World Series MVP as the Dodgers snapped a 32-year championship drought.
This year after the Dodgers lost to the Braves in the NLCS, Seager talked about the uncertainty of his pending free agency with reporters in Atlanta.
“It sucks. It’s unknown. You’re saying goodbyes without really knowing,” Seager said. “You do the normal stuff, wishing everybody a happy offseason, remember it, remember how it feels, prepare for next year, stuff like that. But then you’re uncertain about where you’ll be.”
Seager is a .297/.367/.504 hitter, a 132 wRC+ with 164 doubles and 104 home runs in 636 career games.