Seattle Mariners: 5 Trades to Clear Payroll this Off-Season
Jean Segura is the youngest player on the list of Mariners to send out in a trade. He would be a big help to clear payroll this off-season, as over $14 million per year through 2023. He will also go into 2019 as the 4th highest paid shortstop. This isn’t to say that he isn’t worth it, as he is definitely one of the better to man the position in the Majors.
After a blistering start to 2018, Segura slowed down over the stretch run. He still managed to hit .304 on the year but was sitting at .332 on July 5th, right around the time the Mariners season changed for the worse. 2018 did mark his third season in a row at or above .300, showing he is more of the player from 2013 than 2014-2015.
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Segura is a great all-around player. He put together the best defensive season of his career in 2018, posting a 1.5 dWAR. Pairing this with his ability to steal bases and hit home runs makes him a bat any team would like near the top of their lineup. Over the last three years, he has averaged 14 home runs, 25 steals, and a .308 batting average.
If the Mariners were to trade Segura, he would likely fetch the largest get of anyone on this list. He is one of the top shortstops in baseball, although he does get overshadowed being in the American League. This is why we are going to look to the senior circuit for a trade partner.
Around the trade deadline in 2018, the Pittsburgh Pirates made some bold moves to try and make it to the post-season. They could make another one here, shoring up one of their issues by getting a top shortstop. Jordy Mercer is a nice player, but he is nowhere near the caliber, either offensively or defensively, as Jean Segura.
Pittsburgh receives – SS Jean Segura
Seattle receives – OF Bryan Reynolds (23 years old, #8 prospect), 2B/SS Stephen Alemais (23 years old, #18 prospect), LHP Domingo Robles (20 years old, #28 prospect)
In trading Segura, the Mariners would be able to get two near ready prospects who could help them sooner rather than later. Both players could arguably jump right in, and likely would if all of the trades listed were made. Reynolds shows a good feel from both sides of the plate as a switch-hitter and can play all three outfield positions. He has improved his plate discipline and looks ready for a chance at the next level.
Alemais could take over for Segura, leaving Cano to play second for Seattle. He has a good glove and good hands, with a strong enough arm to play short. His speed is the main part of his offensive game, although he occasionally tries to power up, usually leading to poor results. Robles is a young lefty with a good setup for someone so young. He commands his pitches well, likely from his ability to repeat his delivery.
If Seattle were to send out Segura, they should expect a nice haul back in return. Getting a couple of players that are major league ready would help ease the pain of seeing one of the team’s best players leave. A high potential young lefty would help as well.