The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly made their first impactful move of the offseason. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Phillies and Seattle Mariners have agreed to a trade that will send All-Star shortstop Jean Segura, left-handed reliever James Pazos, and right-handed reliever Juan Nicasio to Philly in exchange for shortstop J.P. Crawford and first baseman Carlos Santana.
For this deal to take place, the 28-year-old Segura waived his no-trade clause. Over the Thanksgiving break, it was initially reported by Jon Morosi of MLB.com that the Phillies were one of the teams interested in Segura along with 24-year-old closer Edwin Diaz.
The San Diego Padres and New York Yankees, who acquired Mariners starting pitcher James Paxton late last month, also showed interest in the versatile infielder.
Even though the Phillies could not get their hands on Diaz, whom the Mariners reportedly traded along with veteran infielder Robinson Cano to the New York Mets in a blockbuster seven-player deal. They are getting a very good player in Segura, who will be an instant upgrade at the plate and in the field.
This past season, Segura hit .304/.341/.415 along with 10 home runs and 61 RBI. In addition to his high batting average, the veteran infielder also showed great patience at the plate, which fits in with manager Gabe Kapler’s system.
In 586 at-bats, Segura only had 69 strikeouts and 32 walks but had an impressive batting average of .303 with RISP (runners in scoring position). Last season as a team, the Phillies drew 582 walks, ranking them third in the National League, however, they had issues driving in runners.
With the potential addition of the 28-year-old All-star that should help the Phillies solve some of their RISP issues. Along with what he brings to the table offensively, Segura will be a hell of a defensive upgrade over Crawford, who struggled to stay healthy this past season and will allow Kingery to possibly return to his natural position at second base.
At shortstop last season, Segura only had 17 errors and a fielding percentage of .969, which is a vast improvement from 2017 where he had a .962 Fld%. Crawford, on the other hand, had a fielding percentage of .933 in limited action at shortstop, while Kingery posted a solid fielding percentage of .975.
Speaking of Crawford, the former first-round pick never materialized into an All-star caliber player that everybody expected to become due to injuries. Last season, the Long Beach, California native only played in 49 games and hit a pedestrian .214/.319/.393 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 138 plate appearances.
Nevertheless, he should get a chance to become the starter in Seattle and learn from Dee Gordon. How about Santana? Why are they giving up on him so early in his contract?
Last year around this time, the Phillies signed the veteran slugger to a three-year, $60 million deal to provide some offensive firepower in the batting order. However, that did not come to fruition as he only hit .229/.354/.414 with 24 home runs and 86 RBI.
He also drew 110 walks in 560 at-bats, which was the second-best mark of his career. But Santana did not do a good job of bringing runners home as he hit.229 with RISP.
Therefore, when you factor in his performance at the plate, along with the idea of the Phillies moving Rhys Hoskins back to first base next season full time, it was no room for him in Philadelphia’s future plans.
All in all, this trade works out for both teams as the Mariners get a cheaper option in Crawford, while the Phillies get an All-star infielder, who is only owed $58 million until 2022. And Philly gets rid of Santana’s contract as he is owed $35 million over the next two seasons.