Facing the Free Agent: Kris Bryant Vs. Kyle Seager Vs. Eduardo Escobar

If you scan the MLBTR list of Top 50 free agents looking for a third warrior, you will soon find Kris Bryant 4th place, predicting a six-year $160 million contract, an average annual value of $26.67 million. Then there was a big drop in Kyle Seager at position #31 and Eduardo Escobar in position #35. Each party is expected to receive a two-year contract, with Seager receiving a total of $24 million and Escobar $20 million.

Age is certainly a good reason for Bryant to sign a longer contract, as he is about to turn 30 in January, while Seager just turns 34 and Escobar will turn 33 in January. His birthday is a day after Bryant, making him roughly three years older. However, looking at their recent achievements, they may not be as far apart as one would think.

Bryant was a famous prospect when he appeared in the arena in 2015. In his first three seasons, he hit all the hype, scoring .288/.388/.527 for a wRC+ of 144. Combined with his solid defense, he was worth 20.7 fWAR over those three seasons, including an NL MVP win in 2016 and a World Series warm-up round. However, he has slowed down since then, mostly on the defensive side. His drop from 2018 to 2021 is still great, coming in at 0.268/.363/.479, wRC+ of 124. But given the reduced defense count, that adds up to 11, 1 fWAR in those four seasons. Statcast’s above-average scores gave Bryant 5 and 4 in third place respectively in 2016 and 2017. But since then, he’s been at zero or below, including -4 in third place in 2021 and -10 overall.

Escobar’s trajectory is almost the opposite, as he had a breakout year in 2018 and has had his strongest campaigns in recent years. Like Bryant, he’s had three solid seasons in the past four years, with the shortened 2020 season being his weakest. His overall squad from 2018 to 2021 is 0.259 / .318 / .475, wRC+ is 105. His defense is graded around the league average for that time, allowing him to accumulate 9.5 fWAR in that time period, just 1.6 points behind Bryant. In 2021, Bryant’s wRC+ of 123 is higher than Escobar’s 107, but the difference in defense means his 3.6 fWAR during the campaign is barely ahead of his 3.0. Escobar. Escobar’s nightmare season in 2020 resulted in -0.5 fWAR, but he’s worth three or more wins in each of 2018, 2019 and 2021.

As for Seager, his best playing period was from 2012 to 2017. He has certainly slipped a bit since then but can still become a solid contributor thanks to his strength and ability. his defense. In the 2018-2021 timeframe, he hit .224/.298/.423, giving a wRC+ of 99 and 8.5 fWAR, one shadow behind Escobar. Despite some ups and downs in terms of offense, his critical lane has remained pretty steady. According to FanGraphs estimates, he’s worth at least 1.5 fWAR for the current ten consecutive seasons, including the 2020 drawdown campaign. Of the six seasons of data for OAA, Seager is worth at least three OAA for those five seasons, with 2018 being the only exception.

There’s no denying that Bryant deserves to be the top pick among these 3. He is the best player and gives an advantage that others cannot match. A potential NL DH deployment would also make it easier for him to hit the field and possibly maximize the value of his club. His playing ability opens up his market, even though his defense is not appreciated on the pitch. For teams looking for someone to play third base regularly, his dwindling defense is sure to give them pause, especially as the asking price is likely to be closer to $30 million. every season. Escobar and Seager will cost less than half of Bryant, both in terms of years and average annual value. There’s some logic to it when a team uses one of the cheaper options and uses the cost savings to upgrade another area of ​​their team.

If you’re sitting in the CEO chair, do you want to blow your budget and make a long-term commitment to Bryant, and then pick up some cheap flyers to fill out the rest of your team? Or would you rather split your money more evenly, get an inexpensive option like Escobar or Seager and then have more money for other additions? Have your say in the poll below.

(Poll Link for app users)

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2021/11/free-agent-faceoff-kris-bryant-vs-kyle-seager-vs-eduardo-escobar.html Facing the Free Agent: Kris Bryant Vs. Kyle Seager Vs. Eduardo Escobar

Jake Nichol

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