Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Hot Stove Update: D'Backs and Mariners Swap 5 Players

The D'Backs and Mariners made a significant trade on the eve of Thanksgiving Day.  The most recognizable names were RHP Taijuan Walker going to the D'Backs and SS/2B Jean Segura moving to the Mariners.  The D'Backs also get SS Ketel Marte while the Mariners add OF Mitch Haniger and LHP Zac Curtis. Let's break it down:

Mariners Acquire:

Jean Segura, SS/2B, 27 yo.  B-R, T-R.  5'11", 160 lbs.  2016:  .319/.368/.499, 20 HR, 33 SB, 5.6 BB%, 14.6 K%.  Segura will move from 2B with the D'Backs to SS for the Mariners.  He had a great season in 2016 but not so good in 2014 and 2015 after a breakout season in 2013 with the BrewCrew.  There is a new sheriff in town in Phoenix(I guess in more ways than one) and new GM Mike Hazen apparently decided to not take a chance on Segura having turned the corner and sold high.  It's a bit of a risk for the Mariners, but Segura has the tools to keep it going.  He will be moving to a less hitter friendly environment.

Mitch Haniger, OF, 25 yo.  B-R, T-R.  6'2", 180 lbs.  AA:  .294/.407/.462, 5 HR, 4 SB, 12.7 BB%, 17.7 K%, 236 PA.  AAA:  .341/.428/.670, 20 HR, 8 SB, 12.5 BB%, 19.9 K%, 312 PA.  MLB:  .229/.309/.404, 5 HR, 9.8 BB%, 22 K%, 123 PA.  Haniger is a Cal Poly SLO alum who hit his way up the chain in the D'Backs organization.  Has a chance to earn a starting OF job in a very thin Mariners roster for OF's.  Good all around hitter with some power potential.

Zac Curtis, LHP, 24 yo.  5'9", 190 lbs.  A+:  1-0, 5.22, 10.1 IP, 4.35 BB/9, 19.16 K/9.  AA:  0-1, 3.20, 19.2 IP, 2.75 BB/9, 13.73 K/9.  MLB:  0-1, 6.75, 13.1 IP, 8.78 BB/9, 6.75 K/9.  Lefty specialist prospect.  Probably needs a bit more salt in the minors.

D'Backs Acquire:

Taijuan Walker, RHP, 24 yo. 6'4", 210 lbs.  8-11, 4.22, 134.1 IP, 2.48 BB/9, 7.97 K/9.  Hard throwing, high ceiling RHP who has not quite lived up to expectations, possibly due to nagging injuries.

Ketel Marte, SS, 24 yo.  B-S, T-R.  6'1", 180 lbs.  MLB:  .259/.287/.323, HR, 11 SB, 3.9 BB%, 18 K%, 466 PA.  High ceiling player who had a disappointing first full season in MLB.  D'Backs obviously think he will improve on last year's numbers.  D'Backs may move him to 2B.

This is kind of an interesting trade.  Mike Hazen comes in an unloads one of Dave Stewart's prized acquisitions, maybe the best acquisition Stew made in his tenure.  He bolsters the pitching staff in return with an immediate #3/4 SP with potential for at least a #2.  He is also betting on Marte reaching his very high ceiling and making D'Backs fans forget about Segura who might have been their best player in 2016.

The Mariners are betting the Segura's 2016 was not a fluke and this down years in 2014 and 2015 were due to a family tragedy.  They also needed help in the OF and Haniger may well be the guy to solidify LF for them.  Curtis seems to be a throw-in.  The loss of Walker leaves the Mariners thin at SP with a starting 5 of James Paxton, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Wade Miley and Nate Karns.  You have to wonder if they know something about Walker that is not obvious to everyone else.  Gotta admit, Walker has been a bit of an underachiever.

The best current player in the trade is Segura and if he continues to play like he did last year, this trade is a clear win for the Mariners.  You have to hope for a breakout from every other player in the trade.  If everybody reaches their ceiling, a big if, it's close to an even trade.


  1. Seems like the Dbacks are just itching to throw their team into the absolute cellar, and dissuade their fan base from having anything to hold onto. Total bummer for those fans.. I have a feeling Taijuan Walker is not ever going to live up to his billing, and they sold high at the right time, when he still has a glimmer of hope remaining.

    Mariners continue to build a good thing. Need pitching though, and this isn't the season to find it...

    Did the Diamondbacks perhaps have another kid ready to replace Segura at 2B?

    1. I read one analysis speculating that Brandon Drury could slide over to 2B, then there's the kid Marte who came back in the trade. I guess another way to look at it is if you think Marte is the real deal, then it's a dual challenge trade: Segura for Marte and Walker for Hanigar. D'Backs have a surplus of OF's if AJ Pollack is fully healthy, so it would be using a surplus to fill a need.

      This trade is going to come down to which team did their homework on player's upside and a bit of luck.

    2. You could also look at it as a dual challenge trade of an OF prospect for an IF prospect in Hanigar for Marte and a hitter for a pitcher, Segura for Walker.

      Segara for Walker seems to heavily favor the team getting Segura. I've been a Mitch Hanigar fan since his college days, so I tend to think this trade is going to end up favoring the Mariners

    3. On the other hand, in an offseason where pitching is prized at a premium, the DBacks got one of the highest upside young pitchers out there.

    4. The trade definitely could end up working out well for either or both teams.