Mariners acquire a brilliant young shortstop in Jean Segura, but it comes at a cost in surprising trade of Taijuan Walker.
Jerry Dipoto had said that this off-season would involve fewer moves than last year. So far that that hasn’t been the case.
On Thanksgiving Eve, Jerry made another trade. He sent Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte to Arizona for shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Mitch Haniger and pitcher Zac Curtis.
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Many Mariners fans had been calling for an upgrade at the shortstop position after Marte’s difficult year.
Marte’s season was going pretty well early on -Mariners fans will remember when he and Martin were both on a roll and the Mariners were winning- but then both of them got injured and the Mariners started to struggle again. If they had kept up their hot streaks Mariners fans could have been calling them the “M&M Boys” to go with the Seahawks and their retired running back who enjoyed eating Skittles every once and a while.
If they had kept up their hot streaks, Mariners fans could have been calling them the “M&M Boys” to go with the Seahawks and their retired running back who enjoyed eating Skittles every once and a while.
Sep 23, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte (4) throws to first base in the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
The Mariners were also rumored to be in trade talks with the Reds around the trading deadline last season to acquire shortstop Zack Cozart. Those rumors never resulted in a trade but they did stir up the conversation of the Mariners needing a better shortstop.
Those rumors never resulted in a trade but they did stir up the conversation of the Mariners needing a better shortstop.
The switch-hitting Marte did struggle last year and injuries did have something to do with that. He showed signs of being a plus fielder and a good contact hitter but was never consistent enough. Last season he only appeared in 119 games, hitting .259 with 21 doubles.
Taijuan Walker was also a player who struggled with injuries and consistency in his time with the Mariners. In 2016 Walker had a right heel injury that always seemed to bug him throughout the season and was never able to shake it. He went 8-11 in 25 starts with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP. Walker struggled to get deep into games which taxed the bullpen constantly. Those numbers just aren’t good enough to cut it as a starter in the majors, over the years Walker did show some signs of being a really productive starter but consistently was not his friend.
He went 8-11 in 25 starts with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP. Walker struggled to get deep into games which taxed the bullpen constantly. Those numbers just aren’t good enough to cut it as a starter in the majors. Over the years, Walker did show some signs of being a really productive starter, but consistency was not his friend.
Jean Segura is a friend of the shortstop position. The former top Angels prospect who was traded to the Brewers in the Zack Greinke trade in 2012. Segura was then traded to the Diamondbacks last off-season. Now he is a Seattle Mariner. Last season Segura had 203 hits, 41 doubles, 20
Last season Segura had 203 hits, 41 doubles, 20 home runs and 33 stolen bases while hitting .319 in Arizona. Segura had a WAR of 5.7 compared to Matre’s .3 WAR last season. But that’s only if you’re into all that sabermetrics stuff.
Since Jerry Dipoto came into town he has wanted the Mariners to “control the zone”. With regards to hitting, Segura strikes out about every 7 plate appearances, and Marte last season struck out about every 5 plate appearances. That doesn’t seem like much but over the course of a season that will add up, meaning that Segura puts the ball in play much more which is always a good thing for players with speed.
Segura should be a great addition to the top of the order for the Mariners.
May 31, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jean Segura (9) drives in a run with a base hit in the sixth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Segura’s performance last year was good enough to get him on the MVP ballot in the National League. Yes, he finished 13th in the voting but where did Marte or Walker finish in MVP voting? I’m going to take a guess and say they weren’t in the top 100.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved Walker and I was starting to come around on Marte. I always thought that Walker would be a good closer since he seemed to struggle with being a starter from time to time but that’s Arizona’s problem now.
Walker was a part of the Mariner’s the big three, along with the injury plagued unknown that is Danny Hultzen, and James Paxton who’s fingernail cannot seem to stay on his finger. At this point, most Mariner fans might be saying that most of them should have been traded a long time ago when they had more value. But getting Segura for Walker and Marte is still a quality move. Which could lead to the Mariners having one of the best defensive and offensive infields in the MLB.
Now for the two other players that the Mariners got in addition to Segura. Left-handed pitcher, Zac Curtis has been in the minor leagues for 2 plus seasons and last year appeared in 21 games for the D-backs. Zac Curtis looks like a promising bullpen piece for the future if he is able to bring the same numbers he had in the minors to the Mariner bullpen.
The other player the Mariners acquired in this trade was outfielder Mitch Haniger. In 2016 Maniger split time between AA and AAA before getting called up to the majors for 34 games. In the minors last season, he hit .321 with 25
In the minors last season, he hit .321 with 25 home runs and 94 RBI in 129 games. Once he got to the majors last year he hit .229 in 123 plate appearances. Haniger in a right-handed hitting outfielder who could certainly provide some pop to the Mariners lineup in the not so distant future.
If Segura is able to keep up his productively from past years, this trade is most likely a win for the Mariners. They finally get that productive offensive shortstop they’ve been looking for since Carlos Guillen and even Alex Rodriguez. Sorry, I know that one hurt for a lot of you.
That, along with Curtis and Haniger, if those two are eventually what they were in the minors then we are all going to have to tip our hat to Dipoto on this one.
We should expect Dipoto to continue to make moves, specifically when it comes to acquiring another starter.