The teardown of the Seattle Mariners continues. Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets, the Mariners agreed to a trade sending shortstop Jean Segura to the Philadelphia Phillies. The teams announced the trade Monday afternoon.
Here are the trade details:
- Phillies receive: Segura, Juan Nicasio, James Pazos, plus $1 million to pay Segura's trade bonus
- Mariners receive: J.P. Crawford, Carlos Santana
Similar to Jay Bruce in the Cano/Diaz trade, the Mariners are taking on a high-priced veteran (Santana) in the Segura deal to offset salary and also improve their prospect haul. Including Nicasio in the trade means Philadelphia is taking on about $7 million in 2019 salary, but is shedding about $3.15 million from their 2020 payroll.
Segura, 29 in March, hit .304/.341/.415 (112 OPS+) with 10 homers and 20 steals this past season and .308/.353/.449 (116 OPS+) over the last three seasons. Add in solid shortstop defense and he is a comfortable 4 WAR player with several peak years remaining. Segura has a full no-trade clause, which he waived to join the Phillies.
The top of Philadelphia's new-look lineup could look something like this:
The Phillies have been connected to Machado and Harper really since last offseason and the expectation is they will sign one of those guys. That is not a guarantee, of course, but the Phillies probably have the greatest odds of signing one of Machado or Harper than any other team..
Also, this trade allows Philadelphia to move Hoskins back to his natural first base. He played left field in deference to Santana this past season and it did not go well defensively. The various defensive metrics all rated Hoskins as one of the worst defenders at any position in baseball. First base is where he belongs. This trade improves the club's offense and defense.
Nicasio and Pazos had very different 2018 seasons. The 32-year-old Nicasio pitched to a 6.00 ERA in 42 innings around injury trouble, though his underlying numbers (2.99 FIP) indicate he ran into some tough luck. Pazos, 27, posted a 2.88 ERA in 50 innings. His 3.60 FIP indicated the ERA is lower than some other performance indicators would lead you to believe.
The trade adds to a Philadelphia bullpen that already includes strikeout machine Seranthony Dominguez and veteran setup men Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek. The Phillies are reportedly in on several big name free agent relievers as well, including Craig Kimbrel. With this trade, they bolstered their lineup and added depth to their bullpen in one fell swoop.
As for the Mariners, they have now traded away Segura, Nicasio, Cano, Diaz, Mike Zunino, James Paxton and Alex Colome in recent weeks. Mitch Haniger remains highly desirable and could be moved as well, . Between the Cano/Diaz and Segura/Nicasio trades, the Mariners have unloaded approximately $110 million in future salary obligations spanning 2019-23.
Seattle figures to flip Santana elsewhere in the coming weeks -- the Rockies and Yankees immediately jump to mind as potential landing spots -- and continue unloading others like Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Mike Leake, Ryon Healy, and perhaps Dee Gordon. It's unclear whether Felix Hernandez is movable. Not only has his performance slipped, he's owed over $27 million in 2019 and has a full no-trade clause. Felix may not want to leave the only organization he's known.
Crawford, 23, is a former top prospect who has struggled early in his MLB career, hitting .214/.333/.358 (85 OPS+) in 225 plate appearances spanning 2017-18. Baseball America ranked him as the 16th best prospect in baseball prior to 2018 and said he "has the talent to be a centerpiece player." The Mariners are getting him while his value is down and hope he'll live up to his potential.
The 32-year-old Santana hit .229/.352/.414 (105 OPS+) with 24 home runs and more walks (110) than strikeouts (93) in 2018, his first season with the Phillies. He's owed $17 million in 2019 and $17.5 million in 2020 before a $17.5 million club option comes into play in 2021. The Mariners will have to eat some money to move him but should get something decent in return.