Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto is in full-fledged teardown mode, and we’re all here for it.
While the agreed-to-blockbuster with the New York Mets involving Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz is still yet to be finalized, Dipoto has also found a taker for shortstop Jean Segura in the Philadelphia Phillies.
Segura, who has four years and $58 million remaining on his contract, will be an immediate upgrade for the Phillies in a number of ways. One of the first things that comes to find is his offensive ability, which includes being difficult to strike out.
Although the 28-year-old has never struck out much over the years (his career-worst strikeout rate was 15.9% in 2015), he took it to another level for Seattle last year. In what ended up being a 3.8-fWAR performance, Segura posted a .304/.341/.415 triple slash (111 wRC+) with a career-low 10.9% strikeout rate.
As NBC Sports’ D.J. Short notes, strikeouts were an issue for Philadelphia in 2018:
The Athletic‘s Jayson Stark takes the same approach to display Segura’s aptitude for putting his bat on the ball by looking at counting stats.
In what ended up being a disappointing year thanks to a second-half collapse, Philadelphia also struggled on defense. Manager Gabe Kapler had four different players log at least 100 innings at shortstop in 2018 (Scott Kingery, Asdrubal Cabrera, Pedro Florimon, and J.P. Crawford), who combined for -23 Defensive Runs Saved.
Through more than 1,200 innings at the position last year, Segura glove work was worth 5 Defensive Runs Saved.
This reported deal brings even more of a tickle-down effect for a defense that was easily the worst in baseball last year. Dealing away Carlos Santana opens up first base again for Rhys Hoskins (his natural position), who accumulated -24 Defensive Runs Saved in the outfield during 2018. And if they can convince Manny Machado to play third base, where he’s a two-time Gold Glove winner, Philadelphia’s team defense could improve even more.
What’s the most interesting of all is that while both of these organizations are heading in different directions, they’re each far from finished with executing their respective offseason plans.
About Matt Musico
Matt Musico currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book and created an online class about how to get started as a sports blogger. You can sign up for his email newsletter here.