The Mariners continued their forward momentum yesterday by giving Kyle Seager the extension he so richly deserves. Seven years and $100 million (say it in Dr Evil’s voice). You can see the breakdown if you wish at the link.
I love the idea of locking Seager down, but it also sounds like he really wanted to stay here. His wife Julie tweeted yesterday after the announcement was made on most news sites and by the Mariners themselves: “Sooo unbelievably thankful and excited! We could not think of a better place to raise our family or community to be apart of.” It’s nothing like Felix’s tears from last year’s notice that he was being offered a 7-year deal and copious amounts of cash to stay here, but it’s a good sign. Seager was drafted by the Mariners, and even though he’s not from the area, he came up through the ranks with this organization, so technically speaking, he is sort of home-grown. I know that players and their wives are always going to say things like this, but it has to be a positive for him, that the team values him so much they are willing to go to these lengths to keep him around. Ball players get moved around so much, it has to be nice to be able to make plans for your family and kids for an extended period of time. Plus, Kyle Seager is very likeable. He just is. He smiles when things go well, he’s friendly to fans, he puts his nose to the grindstone and gets serious when in-game situations call for it, makes for a good interview with our press people, and seems like a really great person, like a kid who just wants to play ball. I am glad he will be playing ball in Seattle, and that he bucked the scouts’ odds to get where he is today. His rise to be the third base replacement we have been lacking since Adrian Beltre had to leave for other climes has been impressive, and a joy to see. I am looking forward to what else he has to offer us over the next seven years.
The team has also been reported multiple times as saying they harbor no plans to trade Hisashi Iwakuma, something that makes me giddy. I guess before people started talking about it since the end of the season, it had never really occurred to me that it might ever be an option. Kuma has done so well for us, we would be fools to eliminate him from the team, regardless of what we might get in return. I have to wonder if an extension is going to be offered based on his 2015 year, since we are clearly exercising our option for 2015 by keeping him. I am happy to have the one-two of Felix/Iwakuma or vice versa; now we need a one-two-three, since the Yankees decided that Chris Young is a worth another round. I haven’t heard many rumors about what the Mariners are looking at as far as added pitching, however, so it will be interesting to see what happens at the Winter meetings next week (is it really next week already?!? Time is flying!)
Now, I am confident that the M’s management is making a statement about what we should expect from the team next season. By making sure we keep Kyle Seager, publicly saying that Iwakuma will not be traded, and having Nelson Cruz and Felix Hernandez also here for the next few years with big price tags, and given the performance of last season, it looks like the Mariners may finally be ready to truly get down to business. I was hesitant to go nuts with the Cliff Lee deal was made (even though yay, Cliff Lee, and I was happy about that) because we still didn’t have the offense necessary to back up our pitching staff. But we seem to be moving away from those dark times and into an era of bright shiny bat power. If we can add an arm, spruce up our utilities a bit, and maintain the bullpen we have become known for, 2015 will be even more fun that this last year.
I have seen some skepticism from national sports media on whether or not this Kyle Seager contract was a good move for the Mariners, because sadly, nobody seems to have any clue who Seager is, in spite of the fact that he was sent to the ASG game in July. Believe it or not, kids; whether or not you believe in Kyle Seager does not make him exist to any lesser extent. And now he exists with a confidence that the people he works for respect and want him to continue his career here, and the hunger of youth. I have the feeling that by next September, the national media will be not only aware of Kyle Seager, they’ll be happily talking about him. A lot. Heeeeeere come the Mariners!