Former Ranger and World Series champion thinks Corey Seager is overpaid

The Texas Rangers shelled out a ton of money for Corey Seager, but was it too much? One retired player and former Ranger thinks so.

The Texas Rangers became one of the biggest surprises of the offseason last weekend, when they plunked down hundreds of millions to sign outfielder Kole Calhoun, starting pitcher Jon Gray, and second baseman Marcus Semien.

Then, earlier this week, they nabbed shortstop Corey Seager. His deal is the biggest of the bunch: 10 years, $325M.

That’s a lot of money for any player, but especially one who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, and only played 95 games in 2021.

Former Texas Ranger Will Middlebrooks thinks they’re overpaying Corey Seager

Will Middlebrooks, who won a World Series with the Red Sox before joining his hometown Rangers in 2017, weighed in on Seager’s blockbuster deal earlier this week. Rangers fans may remember him from his pair of pinch-hit triples during a doubleheader back in 2017.

As Middlebrooks explicitly states, he, like most athletes, is happy to see players get paid, so this clearly isn’t a personal attack. Each MLB team is valued at over a billion dollars, their owners are rich, and the players whose talents make the owners rich deserve to be compensated for their work.

But if Seager isn’t healthy enough to play consistently, he will be grossly overcompensated. That is what concerns Middlebrooks and many other skeptics.

Over seven big-league seasons, Seager has played 636 total games. He’s only played 100+ games three times in his career, most recently in 2019. You could argue that his 52 games in the 60-game 2020 season would be equivalent to 139 games in a full season, but that assumes Seager remained healthy for the duration.

Can Corey Seager stay healthy to live up to his contract with the Rangers?

Many baseball fans agree with Middlebrooks, citing Seager’s significant injury history, and predicting that the Rangers will continue to be mediocre, even after committing to nearly half a billion in contracts this week. Several accounts replied that Seager will be traded in a few years when the team’s struggles continue and the contract becomes a drag, a repeat of what happened with Alex Rodriguez.

The issue of Seager living up to the dollar amount is timely. In a matter of hours, MLB will enter a lockout, in large part because teams are so stingy about paying non-superstar players. There is a vast and ever-widening gap between the contracts players like Seager, Bryce Harper, and Max Scherzer received and what the everyman players are paid. Team owners are happy to shell out for the stars, but they do so while holding down the rest of the players by manipulating service time and fighting for every dollar in arbitration.

Seager is a former NL Rookie of the Year, a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger, NLCS and World Series MVP, and has a 2020 World Series ring. But if he can’t stay healthy enough to be an everyday player in Texas, Middlebrooks will be correct: Seager will be overpaid.

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