The Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday and their offseason question marks can finally no longer be avoided.
With so many star players set to hit free agency, the 2020 World Series champs are in danger of losing a serious chunk of their core that’s defined Dodger Baseball for the past decade or so.
And they might lose a player or two to the New York Yankees, should general manager Brian Cashman be given free rein to spend big. Corey Seager has been mentioned as a likely candidate due to the Bombers’ need at the shortstop position, but it’s unclear if that’s the route the Yankees will go, especially with so many other options available.
There are a few other factors that might weigh into their ultimate decision to pass on Seager, too, and they only recently emerged.
The first? His 2021 campaign. Once again, Seager’s regular season was derailed by an injury. He missed 67 games due to a broken bone in his hand. Why is that a problem? Because he’s now played in 307 out of a possible 546 games over the last four seasons.
Then, when October rolled around, Seager made an error in the NL Wild Card Game and proceeded to make some questionable plays that ultimately affected the outcome in the NLCS. Game 2 comes to mind when he misplayed a line drive, short-hopped a throw to home, and let a hard single (a very difficult play, admittedly) eat him up to score the game-winning run.
Then, at the plate, he hit .188 with a .639 OPS and had just two homers with six RBI in 12 games against the Cardinals, Giants and Braves.
Is that what the Yankees want to spend on, especially after this information was revealed about Seager’s potential contract demands?
"“It will probably take close to a 10- or 12-year deal for the Dodgers to keep Seager, and if they make that type of commitment, they should plan to play him at third base for the majority of the contract,” writes Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required)."
Seager will be entering his age-28 season in 2022, which means a 10- or 12-year deal will take him through his age-38 or age-40 seasons. Previous reports have suggested the Yankees don’t want another deal like that on the books. They already have Giancarlo Stanton and Gerrit Cole signed for the next eight years, and Aaron Judge is up next.
Some might view Seager’s potential move to third base as a plus because the Bombers have top shortstop prospects Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza tearing through the minor leagues, but Seager’s played six career games at the hot corner. How can you trust he’ll be effective at an entirely new position while investing these kinds of years and dollars?
Once upon a time, signing Seager seemed like a slam dunk. But all it took was a few months to completely alter the perspective of him in pinstripes. We’re not saying the Yankees should rule out signing the two-time All-Star, but his injury concerns, defensive deficiencies and recent postseason performance might have Cashman asking more questions during a pivotal offseason in which he needs to hit multiple home runs.