Cleat Geeks

Sandoval vs. Seager

The Boston Red Sox gave Pablo Sandoval a 5 year $98 million contract with an option for a 6th year. The Seattle Mariners gave Kyle Seager a 7 year extension for a reportedly $100 million. But, if you could only sign one of the two, who would you choose?

pablo in boston

Pablo Sandoval is officially a Red Sox.

Sandoval is going into his age 28 season, We all have a great perception of him because of what he did in the playoffs, but you have to get their first. His 2014 performance was .324 on base, .415 slugging, 3,3 WAR. So he gets you 3.3 wins above a replacement player. We assume he would be in top five or at the least top 10 in hitting at his position. In reality he is 12th in hitting at third base. And was 14th in WAR, that is good player, not a great player.

Surprisingly with his size, defense is not an issue with Panda, he was ranked at 4 runs saved, which ranks him 12th among regular starting 3rd baseman. But, the Panda has some huge red flags. In his first three years in the league he was a .307 hitter with a .356 on base percentage and a .501 slugging percentage. His last three years tell a different story, and keep in mind these are his “prime” years. The average has dipped to .280 with a .335 on-base percentage and his slugging has plumated to .424. He has gone from a 4 win player to a 2.5 win player. Again a good player, not a great player, and by all accounts he wants to be payed like a great player.

Pablo is a switch hitter and that adds to his value right? Against right handers he has an OBP of .357 and a slugging percentage of .493 while against left handers he has .317 and .391. He is a good right handed hitter, and right handers are predominate in the league. The bad news is he is an average left handed hitter and that almost negates his ability to switch hit.

His post season stats are amazing in 167 plate appearances he is slugging .545 with an on-base percentage of .389 and a .344 average. But, you have to get to the post season before those numbers become valuable. In my opinion you pay for the regular season numbers and you hope those numbers propel you to the post season, not the other way around.

Kyle Seager is entering his year 27 season and is baseballs newest $100 million dollar man. He is the 4th player in MLB history to sign a $100 million deal in his 1st year of arbitration. Mike Trout, Buster Posey, and Freddie Freeman are the other 3.


Seattle 3rd baseman Kyle Seager.

Over the past 3 seasons while playing for the Mariners he has only missed 12 games. Plus, this year for the Mariners he also took a huge step forward defensively as he set a club record with a .981 fielding percentage as well as his first gold glove. Since the start of the 2013 season Seager is the 4th best 3rd baseman in the game with a 9.5 WAR, and is the youngest in the top 5.

His 2014 stats in 159 games .268 average, 25 home runs, 96 RBI, 71 runs, 334 ops. In 2014 he was an All-Star he won a gold glove and in his last 3 seasons he has hit 20 or more home runs and played 155 or more games. Only Josh Donaldson had more RBI’s last year and only by 2. His slugging was at .454 which was 7th best at his position last year too.

When you compare them side by side, for their career averages so far this is what you get; runs 74 and 72  hits 176 and 160  doubles 36 and 33  home runs 20 and 22 RBI’s 86 and 81  average .294 and .262. The a fore mentioned numbers have the Panda’s numbers first with Seager’s second.

5 year $98 million or 7 years $100 million? Do you want the younger player on the upswing, or the older player on the downturn? Personally, I will take the cheaper, younger player with the highest upside. That player is Kyle Seager.

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