Jerry DiPoto is like that guy in your fantasy league that proposes five trades to every other team in the league each week. For those of us that are just happy something is happening this offseason, we thank him.
The Seattle Mariners have been long thought to be poised to be sellers this offseason due to the state of their roster and farm system, the fact that the aforementioned DiPoto is their general manager, and all of this being true in a division that is going to be very tough to compete in under the best of circumstances due to the presence of the Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics, and even the Angels (as long as they have Trout that is).
For the most part, that has played out. We had seen the Mariners making some minor seller’s moves before they brought out the big guns and moved Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Mets over the weekend. Now, it looks like another Mariner is on the move.
#Mariners are in agreement pending physical review to send Jean Segura to the #Phillies for Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford. There will be other prospects involved. I believe @Ken_Rosenthal was 1st to say this was close to happening.— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 3, 2018
For the Phillies, this deal is easy to understand given just how bad their infield performed this season. Both Santana and Crawford were disappointing to vary degrees as they head out west and the Phillies infield was arguably the worst defensive unit in baseball in addition to their struggles at the plate. Segura brings real offensive production (.304/.341/.415) and some defensive ability to a Phillies roster that needs both (although it is worth mentioning that Segura’s defensive metrics have been a bit all over the place in his career).
As for the return for Seattle, we don’t know enough to put a grade on this. Segura has been a 3+ fWAR player the last three seasons with at least three more seasons of team control with a club option for a fourth. Even though he isn’t super cheap ($14.5 million a year over the next three years), his production is immensely valuable and the return will have to reflect that. Crawford is a former top prospect that hopefully will benefit from a change in scenery and Santana was a net positive at the plate last year for the most part although it does look like his best days are behind him. It will be interesting to see if Seattle was able to pry some real talent away from the Phillies.
It is worth noting that this move does slightly complicate the Phillies’ pursuit of Manny Machado. Segura has played some second base in his career, but for the most part he has been a shortstop which is Machado’s desired position. While the Phillies would surely figure something out if Machado was willing to sign with them, it does make one wonder if Machado may look elsewhere now that Segura is in the fold.