Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager is now on the gold standard when it comes to his fielding skills.
Seager, 27, won a Gold Glove for defensive excellence Tuesday after a season in which, by all major fielding metrics, he showed remarkable improvement.
“It is an honor,” Seager said, “just to be up for the award with all the great third basemen — let alone win the Gold Glove. I really owe a lot to my coaches, especially Chris Woodward. He helped me tremendously.”
Seager beat out Texas’ Adrian Beltre, a four-time recipient, and Oakland’s Josh Donaldson in becoming the first Mariners player to win a Gold Glove since outfielders Franklin Gutierrez and Ichiro Suzuki in 2010.
Second baseman Robinson Cano and pitcher Felix Hernandez were also finalists at their positions. Cano lost to Boston second baseman also Dustin Pedroia, while Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel won the pitchers’ award.
The Mariners had at least one Gold Glove recipient for 24 straight years before getting blanked for the last three seasons.
The Gold Glove caps a breakthrough year for Seager, who was also picked as an All-Star for the first time in his career and twice chosen as the American League’s player of the week.
“He was great offensively,” manager Lloyd McClendon said, “but I’ve been saying all year he should seriously be considered for a Gold Glove as well.
“What he does on the other side of the ball is just as important. He’s turned into a complete player. He’s a tremendous worker who dedicated himself to that (defensive) side of the ball.”
Major defensive metrics underscore Seager’s remarkable defensive improvement over a year ago. His fielding percentage improved from .964 to a league-leading .981, and his error count dropped from 15 to eight.
Seager led all major league third basemen with a 96.6-percent “good throw” rate and with a plus-24 rating in runs saved. He had a minus-4 rating in 2013.
The offseason figures to provide at least one more major reward for Seager — a financial one. He is eligible for the first time for arbitration, which positions him for a major jump from his 2014 salary of $540,100.
Seager and the Mariners also show mutual interest in discussing a multi-year deal.
2014 Gold Glove recipients
*Pitcher: Dallas Keuchel, Houston
*Catcher: Salvy Perez, Kansas City
*First base: Eric Hosmer, Kansas City
*Second base: Dustin Pedroia, Boston
*Shortstop: J.J. Hardy, Baltimore
*Third base: Kyle Seager, Mariners
*Left field: Alex Gordon, Kansas City
*Center field: Adam Jones, Baltimore
*Right field: Nick Markakis, Baltimore
*Pitcher: Zack Greinke, Los Angeles
*Catcher: Yadier, Molina, St. Louis
*First base: Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles
*Second base: D.J. LeMahieu, Colorado
*Shortstop: Andrelton Simmons, Atlanta
*Third base: Nolan Arenado, Colorado
*Left field: Christian Yelich, Miami
*Center field: Juan Lagares, New York
*Right field: Jason Heyward, Atlanta
Mariners Gold Glove winners
1987: pitcher Mark Langston
1988: pitcher Mark Langston and second baseman Harold Reynolds
1989: second baseman Harold Reynolds
1990: outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., and second baseman Harold Reynolds
1991: outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
1992: outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
1993: outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., and shortstop Omar Vizquel
1994: outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
1995: outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
1996: outfielders Jay Buhner and Ken Griffey Jr.
1997: outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
1998: outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
1999: outfielder Ken Griffey Jr.
2000: first baseman John Olerud
2001: outfielders Mike Cameron and Ichiro Suzuki
2002: second baseman Bret Boone, first baseman John Olerud and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki
2003: second baseman Bret Boone, outfielder Mike Cameron, first baseman John Olerud and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki
2004: second baseman Bret Boone and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki
2005: outfielder Ichiro Suzuki
2006: outfielder Ichiro Suzuki
2007: third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki
2008: third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki
2009: outfielder Ichiro Suzuki
2010: outfielders Franklin Gutierrez and Ichiro Suzuki
2014: third baseman Kyle Seager