Could Segura be bringing his speed and shortstop play to the Phillies soon?
The Seattle Mariners are easily the busiest team in Major League Baseball to this point in the Hot Stove season. Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has already pulled off two deals, and is now reportedly on the verge of at least two more.
On November 8, Dipoto sent catcher Mike Zunino and two others to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith and a prospect.
Less than two weeks later he traded away pitcher James Paxton to the New York Yankees, receiving pitching prospect Justus Sheffield as part of a three-prospect package.
Headed to the Big Apple in the deal would be veteran second baseman Robinson Cano along with the best relief pitcher in the game last year, Edwin Diaz.
Numerous reports are now saying that the deal could go down this weekend at some point, but certainly by Monday at the latest. The two teams apparently have settled on the players involved. Now they are sorting out financials, such as whether and how much money would be exchanged to help alleviate contract concerns regarding Cano, as well as player physicals.
The Mariners are also rumored to be involved with the Phillies in trade talks involving shortstop Jean Segura. In fact, a heavy Mariners follower on Twitter, Trent Hadler, tweeted early on Friday morning that a Segura to the Phillies deal could come down soon.
How good Hadler’s information is, if at all, and who is the “insider’ providing it remains unknown. I contacted him today, and Hadler told me that he had information from someone inside the Mariners organization who had previously been reliable. That source was stating that the only holdup to the deal was the prospect(s) going back to Seattle from the Phillies in the deal.
MLB insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweeted later this afternoon that the Phillies could still be in on Segura. If there is any credence to it, there would be major ramifications for the Phillies.
First off, who would be going to the Mariners? There has been talk in recent days that Seattle was interested in Phillies pitcher Zach Eflin. If that happens, it could be a simple straight-up deal. Same if it turns out the J.P. Crawford is the player head to the Pacific Northwest. If the Phillies move any prospect from the top of their list, it would most likely be pitcher Adonis Medina.
Besides the player going to Seattle in return, how would the Phillies then shuffle around their other infielders? If Crawford stays, you might see the Phillies keep Segura at this natural shortstop position, put Scott Kingery back at second base, and stay with Maikel Franco at third base. That would leave Crawford as either a super-utility player or even back as the starting shortstop at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, at least to open the season.
But…what then happens with Manny Machado? Does an acquisition of Segura mean that the Phillies are out on the superstar free agent? Maybe. Maybe not. The Phillies could still sign Machado and then play either he or Segura at third base. Or they could shuffle Segura over to second, and play Machado at short with Franco or Kingery at third.
Phillies general manager Matt Klentak could also still jump back in on Diaz if the Mets deal somehow falls through, though that appears a longshot at this point.
Segura will turn 29-years-old during spring training. He is signed at $14.85 million per year through 2022 when he will be 32 years of age. There is a further $17 million team option for 2023 with a $1 million buyout.
An all-star in both the National League (2013) and American League (2018), Segura has averaged 10 homers, 50 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 27 steals over his six full big-league seasons. He comes with a career .287/.327/.404 career slash line, and has been particularly effective over the last three seasons during which he has accumulated a 13 WAR total.
Defensively, Segura has spent most of his career at the shortstop position. However, he was the Arizona Diamondbacks starting second baseman during the 2016 campaign. Fangraphs has him at 11th in all of baseball in their shortstop defensive rankings for the 2018 season.
In any event, the Hot Stove is roaring as the calendar flips to December at midnight. If the Phillies do anything quickly it would likely be a Segura deal with Seattle and/or a free agent signing of pitcher Patrick Corbin. The left-hander appears to be making his final decision between the Phillies, the New York Yankees, and the Washington Nationals.