The Rangers have already agreed to terms with one of the five big free-agent shortstops, hammering out a seven-year, $175MM deal with Marcus Semien. They’re reportedly still in the market for another infield upgrade, however, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman tweets that they’re making a “big push” to sign Corey Seager.
Both Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported last night (Twitter links) that the Rangers were in play for Seager even after agreeing to the Semien deal, with Sherman adding that Seager is hopeful he’ll choose a new club today. And Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News wrote earlier today that the Rangers remained “very much” in the hunt for Seager as of this morning.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported this morning that both the Rangers and Dodgers were more much more involved in the Seager market than the Yankees, who aren’t believed to have been as aggressive on the 27-year-old. That meshes both with the idea of Texas still being a serious player for Seager and with recent reports suggesting that the Yanks might not sign any of the big-name free agent this winter.
It’s far from clear that Seager’s market is a two-horse race between the Dodgers and Rangers at this point. That said, both parties can certainly afford to sign Seager long-term, and the Dodgers did just tap out during the bidding for ace Max Scherzer, who’s headed to the Mets on a record-setting three-year contract. Seager, like Scherzer (and Semien), is represented by the Boras Corporation, so it’s perhaps possible now that with Scherzer and Semien resolved, the focus will turn to finding a landing spot for Seager.
Seager rejected an $18.4MM qualifying offer from the Dodgers at season’s end and is widely expected to cash in on a contract that spans upwards of a decade in length. The former first-round pick and NL Rookie of the Year has posted a combined .306/.381/.545 batting line with 31 homers through his past 147 games/641 plate appearances.
While the Rangers already have Semien in tow and have another capable defensive shortstop in Isiah Kiner-Falefa, the defensive flexibility both Semien and Kiner-Falefa bring to the table allows Texas to be rather nimble in its offseason pursuits. Seager could conceivably play either shortstop or third base, while both Kiner-Falefa and Semien can handle any of third, short or second base. Signing Seager would headline what’s been a highly aggressive offseason thus far for a Rangers club that has not only signed Semien but also agreed to deals with righty Jon Gray (four years, $56MM) and outfielder Kole Calhoun (one year, $5.2MM).