For a team looking to add depth and some pop, the Cubs and Kyle Seager looked like they could be a perfect match in free agency this winter. Instead, the longtime Mariners infielder has decided to call it quits, retiring from baseball at age 34.
Since coming onto the scene back in 2011, only twice did Seager check in as a below-average offensive presence for Seattle. His 2021 performance was a down year by several measures, but he still finished the year with a 100 OPS+, 35 home runs and 101 RBI – both of which were career-highs.
His .212 and .285 OBP left plenty to be desired, but you figured that after Seattle cut ties with their former third-rounder, somebody would have wound up picking him up as a platoon option at the hot corner. Instead, he’ll look to the next chapter of his life – which will probably include watching his little brother in the Lone Star State given he inked that monster 10-year deal earlier this winter.
As for the Cubs and their infield picture heading into 2022, the main target still appears to be Carlos Correa. The two sides reportedly have ‘mutual interest’ and it’s now a matter of whether or not the two sides can find common ground. Chicago wants no part of a 10+ year deal, while Correa and his agent, Scott Boras, have a record-breaking contract in mind.
Chicago Cubs need to add infield depth, with or without Carlos Correa
Without Correa, manager David Ross will field an infield that features 2021 breakouts Patrick Wisdom and Frank Schwindel at the corners and a double play combination of Nick Madrigal and Nico Hoerner. This season will give us some answers on Schwindel and Wisdom in regards to what they might project as moving forward – and it’ll be our first glimpse of Madrigal and Hoerner on the diamond together, too.
It’s important to note that missing out on Correa doesn’t necessarily mean Jed Hoyer will sit on his hands, either. There are plenty of other avenues he and Carter Hawkins can take to improve this roster – and shoring up the infield is among them.
Adding at least something there is almost a must at this point. David Bote has been awful the last couple seasons and will miss the start of the year as he recovers from surgery. Sergio Alcantara, who has fewer than 300 big league plate appearances on his resume, represents the only other backup plan on the depth chart right now.