The Seattle Mariners are continuing to deal players from their Major League roster in an effort to rebuild the team’s farm system, announcing Monday that they were trading All-Star shortstop Jean Segura and other players to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford.
The deal is the second major trade made by Seattle in the past week, coming days after they dealt Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets.
Trade Helps Reorganize Phillies Defense
The 29-year-old Segura hit .304 with 10 home runs last season, and is likely to slot into the top of the Philadelphia lineup. Philadelphia is also picking up Juan Nicasio and James Pazos in the trade, with the Mariners throwing in $1 million in cash to pay for Segura’s trade bonus. Segura waived a no-trade clause in order to approve the move to Philadelphia.
Adding Segura and losing Santana should help straight out Philadelphia’s defensive lineup. Rhys Hoskins shifted to left field to make room for Santana last season, but was awful defensively as an outfielder. Moving him back to first base – along with the addition of Segura, a solid defensive shortstop in his own right – should improve the team in the field.
For the Mariners, the big get in the trade is Crawford. The 23-year-old shortstop was regarded as one of the best prospects in all of baseball heading into 2018, but has struggled so far in the majors, hitting .214 with three home runs in 225 plate appearances over the past two seasons.
Crawford is still seen as a future contributor with value, however, and the Mariners were forced to take on Santana’s contract in order to land the prospect. The 32-year-old Santana is owed $17 million in 2019, and it seems likely that Seattle will look to deal him to another team before the season begins.
Along with Segura, the Mariners sent relievers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos to the Phillies. Pazos pitched 50 innings last year, compiling a 2.88 ERA, while Nicasio went 1-6 with a 6.00 ERA over 42 innings in 2018.
Everything Must Go as Part of Mariners Rebuild
Seattle has been trading away veteran players since the end of the 2018 season, dealing starting pitcher James Paxton, reliever Alex Colome, and catcher Mike Nunino even before the latest rash of transactions. Virtually every veteran player still on the roster is considered to be on the trading block as well.
Meanwhile, the Phillies are looking to build a World Series contender for the 2019 season. Philadelphia is expected to be in the mix for a number of the top free agents on the market this offseason, including Manny Machado – who would presumably have to play third base now that Segura is on the roster – and Bryce Harper.
Landing those players might turn the Phillies into one of the favorites in 2019, but for now, they are considered a second tier contender. William Hill lists Philadelphia at 16/1 odds to win the 2019 World Series. Meanwhile, Seattle is a 66/1 pick to win a championship next year – and those odds could continue to lengthen if they further dismantle their roster.