Over the course of the offseason, the Philadelphia Phillies have been attached to many big name free agents such as Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Patrick Corbin, Craig Kimbrel and etc.
However, they also appear to be active in the trade market as well and could be looking to make upgrades in the infield and the bullpen. Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com reported last week that the Phillies are interested in trading for both Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura and closer Edwin Diaz.
In addition to the Phillies, the New York Yankees and the San Diego Padres are also interested in Segura, while the Atlanta Braves also have their eyes on Diaz.
Seattle sent starting pitcher James Paxton to the New York Yankees last week in a blockbuster move, which could signify that they are open to a full blown rebuild.
The Mariners were one of the better stories in the majors during the first half of the season as they were 22 games over .500. But they could not keep that pace up, down the stretch as they finished with a record of 89-73 and missed out on the playoffs.
Therefore, if Seattle can get young, talented prospects in return for their top-tier players then they will most likely do a deal.
In regards to the Phillies, they could definitely use a bat like Segura’s in their lineup. This past season, he batted .304./.341/.415 with 10 home runs and 63 RBI.
The 28-year-old also had 69 strikeouts and 32 walks in 586 at-bats, which is impressive and fits in with what manager Gabe Kapler wants.
This past season, Kapler preached plate discipline with the Phils’ hitters and it worked to a certain degree. Philly drew 582 walks as a team, which ranked them third in the National League.
If the Phillies were able to acquire Segura, it would give them a tremendous upgrade at shortstop and possibly second base. Last season, both J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery struggled mightily at the plate.
Crawford battled through injuries and only slugged .214/.319./.393 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 138 plate appearances. Kingery, however, was slightly better at the plate, hitting .226/.267/.338 with eight home runs and 35 RBI in 484 plate appearances.
Next season, the Phillies could opt to play Segura at shortstop and allow Kingery to go back to his natural position at second base. But then that means Cesar Hernandez is the odd-man out, who is reportedly available once again this offseason.
However, as Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia pointed out earlier this month, the Phillies will not move the 28-year-old Hernandez for just anything.
With that being said, could Hernandez be used in a potential trade package along with prospects for Segura? He certainly could.
Despite a pedestrian 2018 campaign, where he only batted .253/.356./.362 with a career-high 15 home runs and 60 RBI, Hernandez is still a solid starting second baseman. And not to mention, he is also second-year arbitration eligible and will not reach free agency until 2021.
Segura, however, is still owed around $58 million until 2022 as he just signed an extension with the Mariners back in 2017.
As previously mentioned, the Phillies are rumored to be looking at bullpen pieces too. Diaz had a career-year with the Mariners and would be a nice addition to pair with Seranthony Dominguez.
The 24-year-old Diaz recorded a ridiculous 57 saves and played an instrumental role in Mariners’ hot first-half start. He also posted an ERA of 1.96, while striking out 124 batters in 73.1 innings pitched.
Unlike Segura, Diaz might actually cost a bit more in terms of trade value. He is not eligible for arbitration until 2020 and will not be a free agent until 2023, which is appealing to many contending teams.
Nevertheless, if I had to place odds on whom gets dealt first: Segura or Diaz, I would lean towards the former. Segura is older and Seattle could get a nice haul of young players in return, while Diaz could be seen as a potential building block.