Don’t you dare tuck into that tryptophan early, you might miss some late night Jerry machinations.
Seattle has swung SP Taijuan Walker and SS Ketel Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks for SS/2B Jean Segura, OF Mitch Haniger and LHP Zac Curtis. Mariners DFA BHP Pat Venditte.
Welp, my Andrelton Simmons dream died about 11 hours after it was born, but a different deal for a shortstop has arisen instead. We have talked frequently about Walker and Marte so right now we’ll just get to the acquisitions.
Segura is the centerpiece of this trade, and his production will be under a magnifying glass as it compares to the two young players he cost. In four full seasons Segura has been worth 8.5 fWAR, put up a .280/.319/.396 line with 43 home runs and a 91 wRC+ with above average defense. That is excellent production from a 26 year old shortstop who will be in arbitration until 2019. The problem is the way that that production has been distributed.
Getting the 2013 or 2016 version of Segura would make this a good deal, while 2014/2015 production for the next few seasons would be essentially disastrous. Segura played SS full-time 2013-2015, while playing the majority of his games at 2nd base in 2016. He will slide back over to SS again with the Mariners. Jerry Dipoto sounds bullish on Segura’s offensive skill slotting into the top of the Mariners lineup.
Haniger is a former 38th overall pick who broke into the MLB last year for the first time last year at the age of 25. He slashed .229/.309/.404 in 123 PAs, with 5 HRs, and played at every position in the OF. Haniger has speed and power and has a reputation as a high character player, who made adjustments in 2016 that led to improved contact. He has struggled most with making contact, but Dipoto says he sees him as “a high-ceiling prospect who projects to join our outfield as soon as next season.” At the very least, he is another outfielder with MLB-projectable abilities to provide the Mariners with support for unproven options like Guillermo Heredia and Ben Gamel. Here is a clip of Haniger’s first career hit, off none other than Noah Syndergaard.
Zac Curtis is a 23 year old 5’9 LHP reliever who mainly works a low 90s four-seam and a low 80s slider, with the occasional changeup and two seamer. His first MLB action came in 2016 as well, after jumping straight from dominating AA to the majors. While posting a K/9 of over 12.5 in Single-A and Double-AA with a sub-3 BB/9, his walks shot up to 8.78 in 13.1 IP with the DBacks last year. He seems likely to start in the minor leagues, with a LOOGY role in the not-so-distant future.
This deal puts a magnifying glass on Segura and the rest of the starting rotation, as well as Dipoto himself, as he will have to find a way to provide starting pitching depth. Happy Holidays y’all, looks like they won’t be boring.