Seattle Mariners

Kyle Seager close to 7-year deal for $100 million with Mariners

It’s shaping up as a very Happy Thanksgiving for Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager.

Reports indicate Seager has agreed to a seven-year deal for $100 million that includes an option for an eighth year that could boost the value by another $20 million.

The Mariners declined comment on the report, which came initially from Yahoo Sports. The News Tribune subsequently confirmed that a deal is in place pending a physical examination.

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.

The deal followed reports that free-agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval reached agreement with the Boston Red Sox on a five-year contract for roughly $100 million.

Seager was already in line for a major pay hike this offseason by gaining eligibility for arbitration for the first time in his career. He made $540,100 in 2014.

The Mariners selected Seager in the third round of the 2009 draft as a second baseman from North Carolina. He converted to third base in the minors and reached the big leagues in 2011.

Seager was picked as the Mariners’ player of the year in 2012 and 2013 but had his best year in 2014, when he set career highs by batting .268 and leading the club with 25 homers and 96 RBIs.

JOHNSON, MARTINEZ ON HALL BALLOT

One-time Mariners ace Randy Johnson heads a list of 17 first-time eligibles on the 2015 Hall of Fame ballot. His former teammate, designated hitter Edgar Martinez, is back for a sixth year.

The Hall of Fame announced a 34-player ballot Monday for consideration by 575 voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Ballots must be returned by Dec. 27; results will be announced Jan. 6.

Election requires that a player be cited on 75 percent of returned ballots.

The ballot also includes two first-time candidates who spent short tours with the Mariners: reliever Eddie Guardado (2004-06) and infielder Rich Aurilia (2004).

Johnson won the first of his five Cy Young Awards and rose to prominence while pitching for the Mariners from 1989-98. He finished a 22-year career in 2009 with at 303-166 and a 3.29 ERA.

Martinez fell far short of the 75-percent threshold in five previous ballot appearances. He topped out at 36.5 percent in 2012 and dipped last year to 25.2 percent.

Hall voting rules, amended this year, permit candidates to remain on the ballot for up to 10 years as long as they receive 5 percent of the vote. Previous rules permitted candidates to remain up to 15 years.

Other first-time eligibles include pitchers Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, infielder Nomar Garciaparra and outfielder Gary Sheffield.

Second baseman Craig Biggio missed election last year by two votes. Others returning for another year include Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines and Curt Schilling.

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