OK, it’s official.
The Mariners confirmed their agreement with third baseman Kyle Seager to a seven-year contract Tuesday that buys out all three of his arbitration years and binds him to the club through the 2021 season.
No financial details were released, but sources confirm the deal is valued at $100 million with a club option for an eighth year (2022) that could boost its value by another $20 million.
“I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity that the Seattle Mariners have given me,” Seager said. “This is an amazing honor for me and my family to remain with such a great organization for the foreseeable future.”
News of the deal first broke Nov. 24, but neither side confirmed the agreement because it was contingent on Seager passing a routine physical examination.
The Thanksgiving holiday delayed that physical until this week.
The Mariners are expected to confirm the signing of free agent outfielder Nelson Cruz by the end of the week. He reached agreement Monday on a four-year deal for $58 million.
That deal is also contingent on Cruz passing a physical.
Seager’s contract calls for $4 million in 2015 with a $3.5 million signing bonus, $7.5 million in 2016 and $10.5 million in 2017 — what would have been his arbitration years — before escalating sharply.
His salary jumps to $18.5 million in 2018 and to $19 million in 2019 and 2020 before dipping to $18 million in 2021. The total value for those seven years: $100 million.
The Mariners hold an option for 2022 valued at $15 million-$20 million with a buyout clause that could reach $3 million. If traded, Seager’s 2022 contract becomes a player option.
The package could max out at $120 million for eight years.
Not bad for a guy who made $540,100 in 2014.
Seager, 27, is coming off a breakthrough season in which he was selected to the All-Star team for the first time in his four-year career. He also won a Gold Glove for defensive excellence at third base.
“I think he’s motivated to be the best third baseman in the game,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I think he’s only going to get better.”
Seager was picked as the Mariners’ player of the year in 2012 and 2013, but he had his best season in 2014 — setting career highs in batting .268 and leading the club with 25 homers and 96 RBIs.
The Mariners selected Seager in the third round of the 2009 draft, and he reached the majors midway through the 2011 season.
“As one of our hometown players,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said, “it is nice to know that he will remain with us for at least seven more seasons.”
The two sides reached agreement shortly after former San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval, a free agent, signed a five-year deal with Boston for $100 million.
Utility man Carlos Rivero is leading the Venezuelan Winter League in homers, but that wasn’t enough to keep a spot on the Mariners’ 40-man roster.
Rivero, 26, became a free agent Tuesday when the Mariners opted not to offer him a contract prior to the 9 p.m. tender deadline for unsigned players. The club acquired Rivero in a Nov. 3 waiver claim from Boston.
The Mariners offered contracts to six players eligible for arbitration: first baseman Logan Morrison, outfielders Dustin Ackley, Austin Jackson and Michael Saunders, and relievers Charlie Furbush and Tom Wilhelmsen.
All six players are now considered “signed” players, although their salaries are subject to arbitration if the two sides fail to reach an agreement.
By non-tendering Rivero, the Mariners gained an opening on their 40-man roster as they head into the winter meetings, which begin Monday in San Diego.
Technically the club now has two openings, but it is expected to confirm the signing of free agent Cruz later this week. Once that signing becomes official, Cruz must be added to the 40-man roster.
The Mariners can now sign another free agent without making a corresponding roster move. Clubs must also have a roster vacancy in order to select a player in the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 11.
Rivero is batting .291 overall in 36 games for the Lara Cardinals in Venezuela with a .368 on-base percentage and a .567 slugging percentage. He leads the VWL with 10 homers and ranks second with 32 RBIs.
The Mariners could attempt to retain Rivero by getting him to agree to a minor-league contract, but he is free to negotiate with all clubs. If he signs elsewhere, the Mariners are not eligible for compensation.
Outfielder Alex Jackson, the sixth overall pick in June’s draft, is the Mariners’ top prospect in rankings just released by Baseball America.
“Jackson has the highest ceiling among high school hitters the Mariners have drafted since they picked Alex Rodriguez No. 1 overall in 1993,” the magazine raves in its current issue.
The top five picks are position players: Third baseman D.J. Peterson is No. 2, followed by infielders Ketel Marte and Patrick Kivlehan and outfielder Austin Wilson.
Peterson was the club’s first-round pick in 2013 and appears likely to shift to first base in the upcoming season. Marte was recently added to the 40-man roster and is a candidate to make next year’s club as a utility man.
The rest of the top 10: right-handed pitcher Edwin Diaz, outfielder Gabby Guerrero, left-handed pitcher Luiz Gohara, left-handed pitcher Ryan Yarbrough and right-handed reliever Carson Smith.
Smith made his major-league debut last September by working 81/3 scoreless innings in nine appearances.
Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez is scheduled to put his 24-inning streak of not allowing an earned run on the line Wednesday in a start for Lara against Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League.
Will it be his last start before spring training?
Lara manager Felix Fermin, the former Mariners infielder, said the Mariners want to limit Ramirez to 30 winter innings — a total he likely will hit in his next start.
Ramirez, 24, pitched six innings in each of his four previous starts. He is 2-0 and has permitted just two unearned runs and 13 hits while striking out 18 and walking four.
The Mariners face a decision next spring on Ramirez, who is out of options and can’t be sent back to the minors without clearing waivers. He was 1-6 this season with a 5.26 ERA in 17 big-league outings.
Pagan, 23, was a 10th-round pick in 2013. He was 2-3 with 16 saves and a 2.89 ERA in 42 games at Clinton.
Guaipe, 24, was 1-3 with 12 saves and a 2.89 ERA this season in 40 games at Double-A Jackson. A native Venezuelan, he signed with the Mariners in October 2006 as a non-drafted free agent.