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Kyle Seager Announces Retirement

Kyle Seager

Kyle Seager, an 11-year MLB veteran, has announced his retirement. Kyle’s wife posted his retirement note on Twitter Monday afternoon. This made a shocking announcement as Seager is only 34 years old and just had one of his best power seasons. He spent the entirety of his career with the Seattle Mariners, as he is one of the most beloved players in franchise history. He finishes his career with 36.9 bWAR, 242 home runs, 807 runs batted in, and a career .241/.321/.442 batting line. Also, one all-star appearance and one gold glove award.

Kyle Seager 2021 Season

2021 was a big season for Kyle Seager on multiple levels. Seager reached ten years of major-league service time back on July 1st. This is a significant milestone for players because it is the threshold for eligibility to receive the major-league pension plan. Moreover, fewer than 10% of players in history have reached this mark. The fact that Seager was able to accomplish this, and all with one team, is remarkable. The Mariners won 90 games in 2021 and narrowly missed the playoffs. This was the most wins the Mariners have had in a season with Seager. Being so close to a playoff berth made September baseball in Seattle more exciting than it’s been in two decades.

Statistically, Kyle Seager’s 2021 includes career-highs (35) in home runs and runs batted in (101). In fact, Seager had never reached the 100 RBI mark in his career until this past season. Additionally, Seager boasts some bizarre batting splits in 2021.

Seager with RISP: 164 PA, 44 H, 12 HR, 73 RBI, .308/.372/.643, 1.015 OPS

Seager with no one on base: 361 PA, 52 H, 18 HR, .157/.227/.366, .593 OPS

These splits are absurd. However, they tell a story in how Seager was able to drive in so many runs throughout the season. On the whole, Seager posted one of his worst batting averages (.212) and on-base percentage of his career (.285) and ended up with a league average of .723 OPS.

Prime Seasons

The best stretch of Seager’s career came from 2014 through 2016. He accumulated 18.4 bWAR during those three seasons, reaching as high as 6.7 in 2016. He hit 30 home runs and drove in 99 runs to go along with a .859 OPS and 133 OPS+. His slash line during this three-year stretch was .271/.340/.468, .808 OPS, and 126 OPS+. He averaged 27 homers and 90 RBI per year during this period. His 18.4 bWAR ranked third among position players in the sport, only behind Josh Donaldson (21.3) and Mike Trout (27.1). In contrast, Seager’s defense propelled him in these years, not a player with the highest offensive ceiling. He posted a cumulative 38 DRS from 2014-2016, earning himself an all-star nod and the Gold Glove at third base in 2014.

Mariners Legend

The Seattle Mariners have only been around since 1977, making them one of the younger franchises in the sport. However, they have had their share of all-stars and legends. Like Felix Hernandez, Seager will have the honor of playing his entire career with the Mariners, never having played in a postseason game. Despite that, Kyle Seager will go down as an all-time fan favorite in Seattle as well as one of the best players in franchise history. He ranks fifth in team history in runs scored (705), fourth in home runs (242), fourth in RBI (807), fourth in hits (1,395), third in doubles (309), fourth in games played (1,480), fourth in total bases (2,458), and fifth in WAR (36.9).

Kyle Seager is not headed to Cooperstown but will certainly be inducted in the Mariners Hall of Fame. Seager is the embodiment of a player who had a fantastic career that should not get lost in history because he is not a Hall of Famer. He reached ten years of service time, hit nearly 250 home runs, was an all-star and gold glover, hit 30+ home runs twice, and racked more than 35 WAR. He made the city of Seattle proud and should be celebrated for a fantastic career.

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