(AP) — Corey Seager agreed to a $325 million, 10-year deal with the Texas Rangers on Monday and will now play his home games in the stadium where he was twice a postseason MVP, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical and wasn’t finalized.
The Rangers committed $500 million to a pair of middle infielders over a span of about 24 hours.
A day before Seager agreed to the biggest deal in team history, Texas reached an agreement on a $175 million, seven-year contract with Gold Glove second baseman Marcus Semien, according a person familiar with that deal that was also subject to a successful physical.
The 27-year-old Seager played his first seven big league seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who during the pandemic-altered 2020 season played 16 consecutive postseason games at Globe Life Field in Arlington on the way to their first World Series title since 1988.
Seager was the MVP in both the World Series and NL Championship Series. He hit .350 with seven homers and 19 RBIs, including the go-ahead RBI in the World Series-clinching Game 6 win over Tampa Bay, in those games at Texas that also included an NL Division Series sweep over San Diego.
He hit .306 with 16 homers and 57 RBIs in 95 games this year, when he broke a finger on his right hand after getting hit by a pitch May 15 and missed 2 1/2 months. He is a .297 career hitter with 104 homers and 364 RBIs in 636 games.
The deal for Seager matches Giancarlo Stanton for the fifth largest in overall value in baseball. The $325 million trails only the contracts of Mike Trout ($426.5 million), Mookie Betts ($365 million), Fernando Tatis Jr. ($340 million) and Bryce Harper ($330 million).
Only six players currently have contracts with higher average annual values than the one pending for Seager.
After losing 102 games this year and going into the offseason having only $28 million committed to salaries for 2022, president of baseball operations Jon Daniels and general manager Chris Young indicated they were willing to spend as needed and could be active in free agency to improve the team.
The Rangers have committed to more than $561 million in future salaries with four deals already ahead of a potential lockdown after the five-year agreement between MLB and the players’ association expires at 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday.
Texas also has deals in place with right-handed starter Jon Gray for $56 million over four years and outfielder Kole Calhoun for $5.2 million next season. Those deals have not been finalized or announced by the club.
Semien was a shortstop in his six seasons with Oakland from 2015-20 before starting 147 games at second base and playing all 162 games for Toronto this year. He signed an $18 million, one-year deal with the Blue Jays in free agency last offseason.
The 31-year-old Semien hit .265 and set career highs with his 45 homers, 102 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in his only season in Toronto. The 45 homers were an MLB record for a second baseman. He finished third in the AL MVP voting, like he did in 2019 with the A’s.
Seager was the 18th overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft and just 21 when he debuted in September 2015. He became a unanimous pick for 2016 NL Rookie of the Year after hitting .308 with 26 homers and 72 RBIs, then made his second straight All-Star team in 2017.
Seager missed the 2017 NLCS because of a back injury, then returned for the World Series against Houston. He didn’t play after April 29 in 2018 due to a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow that required Tommy John surgery. He also had left hip surgery.
When he returned for 2019, he was slowed by a strained left hamstring that sidelined him from mid-June until mid-July but still tied for the NL lead with 44 doubles. Then he hit a team-best .307 with 15 homers and 41 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season that ended in Texas.