The Rangers, looking to capitalize on their new ballpark and return to prominence after five consecutive losing seasons, have committed $556 million to three players in a span of hours. Seager's deal came one day after the Rangers signed second baseman Marcus Semien to a seven-year, $175 million contract and starting pitcher Jon Gray to a four-year, $56 million contract.
In Texas, Seager will be reunited with Chris Woodward, who spent three seasons as the Los Angeles Dodgers' third-base coach before being named the Rangers' manager in November of 2018. Seager will also play his home games at Globe Life Park, the retractable-roof stadium where Seager was named MVP of the National League Championship Series and World Series during the 2020 postseason, which was played in a bubble because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seager, 27, batted .295/.364/.501 with 100 home runs in 609 games from 2016 to 2021 and established himself as one of the sport's premier offensive shortstops while with theLos Angeles Dodgers, but he also missed extended time on multiple occasions.
Seager combined for 12.9 FanGraphs wins above replacement from 2016 to 2017, fifth most among position players, but underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in May 2018, then arthroscopic hip surgery three months later. The latter seemingly contributed to a relatively down year in 2019, in which Seager posted an .817 OPS despite hitting 44 doubles.
The COVID-19-shortened season in 2020 marked Seager's revival. He batted .307/.358/.585 with 15 home runs in 52 regular-season games, then won the MVP award for both the NLCS and the World Series, batting a combined .347/.439/.816 while helping the Dodgers to their first championship in 32 years.
Seager got off to a slow start in 2021, batting .265/.355/.425 through 36 games, then fractured his right hand on a hit by pitch on May 15 and missed nearly 11 weeks. Shortly after returning in late July, however, Seager began to turn around his season, ultimately posting a 1.019 OPS with 28 extra-base hits over his last 56 games.
Seager's season-ending slash line of .306/.394/.521 helped validate him as one of the sport's most competent hitters, particularly from the left side. His minus-five outs above average since the start of 2020 rank 28th among 39 qualified shortstops, but evaluators view Seager as a reliable shortstop who was boosted by the Dodgers' astute defensive positioning.
ESPN's Alden Gonzalez contributed to this report.
Passan: Rangers have best middle infield in MLB after spending splurge
Jeff Passan reports on the Rangers committing $500M to sign Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to big contracts.