The Seattle Mariners at least appear to be willing to trade All-Star Shortstop Jean Segura. So far, reports indicate the Mariners have received interest from the Yankees, Phillies, and San Diego Padres.
So it is time to give the Mariners All-Star the “James Paxton Treatment” and attempt to find the optimal package to send the Segura to New York. But before we begin, we must make several assumptions.
First, let’s assume Segura is ready to move on and is willing to waive his no-trade clause. Segura has a lot of power in this situation, as he can basically pick where he wants, or more importantly, doesn’t want to go.
Second, let’s assume that either Manny Machado chose not to sign with the team we are breaking down, or that said team has bowed out of that bidding war or will still want Segura either way. Obviously, the Machado effect will play a role in any Segura trade talks, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s work under these understandings.
We actually know quite a bit about the Yankees farm system, and the Mariners will as well, having had talks with the Yankees about a wide variety of prospects in the James Paxton deal. This may give the Yankees a leg up, as the discussions of the Paxton trade gives GM Jerry Dipoto information on how the Yankees value their prospects.
While we do not know which players were talked about, we do know that the idea of adding Segura to the deal was discussed, giving both sides a rough understanding of how they view him. If the Mariners move Segura, it likely signals a full rebuild (at least it should), meaning the club will be less likely to be focused on positional need, and more on getting the most talent on they can.
With all this in mind, here is our proposal:
The title of “headliner” belongs to Clint Frazier. We talked about Frazier in our James Paxton trade piece, and the logic still makes sense. Frazier was a highly touted prospect, who hasn’t quite found his footing in the big leagues. There are still swing and miss concerns in his profile, as well as lengthy battles with concussions.
He is a luxury for the Yankees, and his high upside profile is a perfect fit for a rebuilding Seattle Mariners team. In addition to Frazier, the Yankees would also ship RHP Garrett Whitlock to the Mariners. The 22-year-old dominated across 3 levels in 2019 and has a fastball-slider combo that gives him the floor of a solid bullpen option. Whitlock also gets a high volume of groundballs, thanks to his 2-seamer.
There is still projection left in Whitlock’s frame, as at 6’5″, 190 lbs, he can get stronger in the years to come. Finally, the Mariners land Antonio Cabello to finish out the package. Cabello was signed late in the winter of 2017 after the Yankees failed to attract Shohei Ohtani.
Cabello is the definition of a lottery ticket prospect. At 18-years-old, he is a freaky athlete with double-plus speed and a hit tool that shows a ton of promise. Likely 4 years away from seeing big league action, Cabello is a wait-and-see who could develop into an everyday CF if developed properly.
In the end, the Yankees get the second best SS available this off-season (after Machado). The Mariners land a potential starting LF with some question marks, a high-floor reasonable ceiling pitching prospect, and a lottery ticket OF with fantastic athletic attributes.
As with all our proposals, the names may not be as important as the process surrounding our selection. Each team has their own preference for valuing other teams prospects. But with the package laid out above, there is the potential for both teams to benefit long-term.