A big part of the discussion around this MLB offseason has centered on the variety of top shortstops available, including the “Big Five” of Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Javier Báez, Trevor Story and Marcus Semien. Correa, Báez, and Story are still out there, but both Semien and Seager have now signed with the Texas Rangers. Semien signed a seven-year, $175 million deal with the Rangers Sunday, and Seager (seen above in the 2021 NLCS with the Los Angeles Dodgers) signed an even-larger 10-year, $325 million deal with them Monday:
BREAKING: Star shortstop Corey Seager and the Texas Rangers are in agreement on a 10-year, $325 million deal, sources familiar with the situation tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 29, 2021
That has a lot of people looking back to the last time the Rangers signed a shortstop to a 10-year deal. That was the 10-year, $252-million deal they signed Alex Rodriguez to in December 2000, at that time a sports record. Rodriguez would spend three seasons playing for the Rangers, and led the American League in home runs in each of those years, but they traded him to the New York Yankees in February 2004 (and assumed $67 million of the $179 million left on his contract along the way). While both inflation in general and baseball contract inflation in particular have obviously skyrocketed since then (the two current largest deals are Mike Trout for 12 years and $426.5 million with the Los Angeles Angels and Mookie Betts for 12 years and $365 million with the Dodgers, so Seager’s deal here isn’t even a record), this still had many thinking back to the Rodriguez deal:
Corey Seager becomes the highest-paid Rangers free agent, topping Alex Rodriguez’s 10-year, $252 million deal from December of 2000. https://t.co/04E69Qlq21
— Patrick K. Flowers (@PatrickKFlowers) November 29, 2021
Adjusted for inflation, the 10-year, $252-million contract that Alex Rodriguez signed with the Rangers in Dec. 2000 would be worth $405 million today. Of course, A-Rod had three seasons of at least 41 HRs by then. Seager hasn't hit more than 26. https://t.co/o3bbQu3cZq
— Mike Sielski (@MikeSielski) November 29, 2021
Quote from Jon Daniels earlier this season, about the Alex Rodriguez deal and trying to make sure this time is different pic.twitter.com/UhOqKNqfj2
— kennedi landry (@kennlandry) November 29, 2021
In the three years with Alex Rodriguez, they went from 71 wins to 73, 72 and 71. https://t.co/ZLNBTf5zMM
— Kerry Miller (@kerrancejames) November 29, 2021
We’ll see how these big moves (Seager for 10 years and $325 million, Semien for seven years and $175 million, and pitcher Jon Gray for four years and $56 million) work out for the Rangers. They were 60-102 in 2021, last in the AL West, so there’s a lot of improvement needed. And we’ll see if these splashy free-agent deals help them get there.