Seattle Mariners: Oh, what a trade
Yes, I’ve already talked about how Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger have been solid pick-ups for the Mariners. So hopefully the current weekend series against Arizona is a silver lining.
Not every Mariners trade has worked out poorly. Hopefully you’re all moved on from the Bedard-for-Jones or the Choo-for-Broussard deals. If you think about it, the trade for Haniger and Segura is one of the better deals in Mariners history.
With Jean and Mitch making their Chase Field returns this weekend, the success of this trade should be in the spotlight. At least this season, the M’s have won the trade. None of us can predict the potential of Mitch or Jean being injured in the future, or Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte improving with more experience. But while they’re in their prime, they are an upgrade from Taijuan and Ketel.
One of the smartest moves Jerry could have made was choosing to keep James Paxton over Taijuan. A few seasons ago, Taijuan was a vaunted young pitcher who received a lot of hype, but he never really panned out. In his two full seasons as a Mariner, his ERA was over 4.00. He also could have kept the ball in the park more, allowing almost 30 home runs both seasons.
So far, Jerry’s call is correct as the D’Backs aren’t exactly rubbing Taijuan in the face of our fanbase. He has been out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Big Maple is the M’s new ace with great achievements such as a 16 strikeout game and a no-hitter under his belt. Despite Paxton being prone to injury himself the last couple seasons, he’s been around most of this season. So far, Jerry has held onto the right pitcher.
The man who went to the desert with Taijuan, Ketel Marte, showed promise as a Mariner. He was young and was only going to get better. But multiple times during the 2016 season, Ketel made critical errors that hurt the team. Since that team missed the playoffs in game 161, those mistakes are more noticeable nowadays, and his 2016 batting average of .259 pales in comparison to the above-.300 seasons we have received from Segura over the past two years.
I may be swallowing my words here as Ketel hit two triples en route to an Arizona win over the Rockies in last year’s Wild Card game. But you need to be dynamite defensively as well as hit on a consistent basis. His current .249 average is not exactly missed by Mariner fans.
We’ll never know but you watch Jean play and he looks more established than Ketel. He is definitely a better hitter and the batting average speaks to that. In just his second Mariner season, Jean was an All-Star. He doesn’t seem too bothered by the national spotlight as he hit the initial go-ahead homer for the American League.
Ketel is a good player overall, but for a middle-of-the-road team, Segura was the better option for the Mariners.
While Mitch was clearly expendable for the D’Backs, Mariner fans should praise Arizona GM Mike Hazen for the gift of his acquisition. Mitch was clearly the MVP of April last year until injury killed his momentum. He also has all kinds of clutch flowing through him. And against one of the most successful franchises ever, Jean walked the Red Sox off on an 0-2 count to complete a 14-inning win last year! Seems like a dynamic duo from the desert.
Yes, Mitch and Jean are not perfect when it comes to health themselves but what athlete is? The important thing is that both show more promise than Marte and Walker and will hopefully continue to make the difference that they have. Oh, what a trade.