If you went to a lab and drew up the perfect baseball player to hit in between Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, that player might be Corey Seager. The sweet-swinging left-handed shortstop has had some injuries, sure, but he is my top target on the free agent market.
In 92 games last season, Seager slashed .306/.394/.521. He hit 16 home runs with an OPS+ of 145. His best season was as a rookie in 2016– his averages and percentages were about the same, but over 157 games, he hit 26 home runs. To put it simply, Seager is a great hitter.
MLB Trade Rumors predicts Seager will land a 10-year deal worth $305 million. Well, the great thing about the 2022 offseason is there are some stellar alternatives to Seager on the market. Free agency is unpredictable, so let’s say that Corey Seager is unavailable. At a predicted six years and $126 million, it’s easy to pivot to Trevor Story.
The “storyline” here, of course, is reuniting Trevor with his Rockies infield partner of Nolan Arenado. During their time together in Colorado, Story and Arenado were arguably the most dominant left-side of the infield in all of baseball. While he struggled a bit in 2021, it isn’t tough to imagine a rejuvenated Story jumping back to the top of the list of major league shortstops.
Really, the Cardinals should be unafraid of spending money this winter. With Carpenter, Martinez, Miller, and Dexter Fowler’s contracts coming off the books, they have plenty of extra cash. This is a once-in-a-generation chance, as Seager, Story, Carlos Correa, Javier Baez, and Marcus Semien are all available superstars. I’m having a tough time coming up with a reason not to make this move. Whether it’s Seager or Story, my front office has the Cardinals going big in free agency this offseason.