The Seattle Mariners’ five-player trade with the Diamondbacks increases their push to win next season, in a division made more competitive by the moves of the Astros and Angels.
Consider this possible Seattle lineup for 2017: SS Jean Segura, RF Seth Smith, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, 1B Danny Valencia/Daniel Vogelbach, LF Ben Gamel/Guillermo Heredia, C Mike Zunino and CF Leonys Martin, with Richie Shaffer perhaps in the mix in some way.
The deal shows that the Mariners are in win-now mode, Matt Calkins writes. From his piece:
Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has been clear that, when it comes to building his team, he isn’t thinking about tomorrow as much as he’s thinking about today.
“We’re in our window now,” Dipoto said back in September. “There is no five-year plan.”
Seattle has the longest active postseason drought in baseball, its fans patience is MIA, and after falling just short of the playoffs last season, the front office knows the phrase “long-term vision” isn’t going to sit well. Hence Wednesday night’s trade.
[Segura] fills the void the Mariners had at shortstop and the leadoff spot in one fell swoop. Is it a gamble? Sure. But it was a necessary one. The Mariners essentially bet that the Jean Segura of last year is the Jean Segura they’re going to get. Never mind that he hit .257 with six home runs in 2015 and .246 with five home runs the year before that.
The assumption is that he found something in his game that will propel him toward consistent All-Star status — not that he just stumbled into a season of good luck.
They’re also betting that Walker isn’t going to have his Jake Arrieta moment anytime soon. Like Walker, Arrieta was a much-hyped phenom who struggled through the first few years of his career before winning the Cy Young in 2015 after a season for the ages. Taijuan was probably the most acclaimed pitching prospect the Mariners have had since Felix Hernandez, and if the Mariners were thinking about 2020, they wouldn’t have dealt him. They’re not, though. And while that departure might scare fans who notice the gaping hole the M’s have in their rotation, those same fans should also appreciate that their team is going all-in in pursuit of a ring.
In Segura’s last season as a shortstop, in 2015 for the Brewers, he ranked among the lower half of MLB shortstops in defensive runs saved.