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Seattle Mariners Showing A Riverboat Gambler Mentality With The Segura Deal: Why Not Covet Chris Carter Next?

The Seattle Mariners at a massive fork in the road for their franchise. The bulk of the roster is right at the peak of their careers, and with the A's and Angels rebuilding. -and perhaps the Rangers taking a step back, GM Jerry DiPoto trading a young SP with a ton of potential in Taijuan Walker, in order to secure the biggest weakness the club suffered down the 2016 season. In landing Jean Segura, the brass is hoping they have found the Leadoff man/Shortstop that will hep the break the longest MLB Playoff Drought currently.

The Seattle Mariners at a massive fork in the road for their franchise. The bulk of the roster is right at the peak of their careers, and with the A’s and Angels rebuilding. -and perhaps the Rangers taking a step back, GM Jerry DiPoto trading a young SP with a ton of potential in Taijuan Walker, in order to secure the biggest weakness the club suffered down the stretch in the 2016 season. In landing Jean Segura, the brass is hoping they have found the Leadoff man/Shortstop that will hep the break the longest MLB Playoff Drought currently.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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i love the Jean Segura trade for the Martiners.  In a deal announced over Thanksgiving, the M’s picked up the 2016 All – Star 2B/SS, along with Mitch Haniger and Zac Curtis  for a return of Ketel Marte and Taijuan Walker.

The real meat of this trade boils down to Segura vs Walker.

I definitely think the SS position was a sore spot for Seattle down the stretch in 2016 – with Marte slumping after a hot start to begin the campaign.

Yes pitching is at a premium in the market place right now, however Walker, now 24, hasn’t delivered to the hype he came into the MLB with – and Seattle had him pegged as the #3 Starter on the Depth Chart, despite Ariel Miranda outperforming him last season.

Segura led the NL with hits in 2016 (203) – and featured a career best .319/.368/.499 – with an astounding 71 XBH (20 HRs, 7 = 3B and 41 Doubles.)  This helped the 26 Year Old tally 102 Runs Scored, while swiping 33 Bases.

Even though projecting a repeat performance out of Segura in 2017 may be a huge stretch, this man posted an incredible overall year and it may be one of the most underrated campaigns for an offensive player in the Majors this past campaign.

Jean Segura had a career year in 2016 - finishing 13th in NL MVP Voting. Segura clubbed 71 Extra Base Hits. Stole 33 Basesb, bashed out 203 hits to the lead the Senior Circuit - and hit ..319. For those thinking this is all Chase Field related, they would be wrong.

Jean Segura had a career year in 2016 – finishing 13th in NL MVP Voting. He clubbed 71 Extra Base Hits. Stole 33 Bases, bashed out 203 hits to the lead the Senior Circuit – and hit .319. For those thinking this is all Chase Field related, they would be wrong.  His Home 3 Slash was .325/.362/.525 with 12 HRs, 37 RBI, 47 Runs Scored and 12 Steals.  On the road his 3 Slash was .312/.376/.468 with 8 HRs, 27 RBI, with 55 Runs Scored and 21 Steals.

I think it is realistic for the man to follow more of what his 3 Career Slash is with a clip of .280/,319./.397 – with the thought that many he could rise his OBP to a higher mark in order to be a viable option for a Leadoff man.

If Segura produces within 85% of what he did in 2016 than this is a massively good deal for the Mariners in addressing their biggest need for a position player and Leadoff guy. 

Having secured Segura at SS also may mean that Seattle doesn’t have to break the bank at the First Base Position when you consider that Kyle Seager clubbed 30 HRs in 2016, and Robinson Cano added another 39 bombs. 

That is 99 HRs between the 3 spots last year.

I would go as far to say that the Mariners have the best offense in the AL West with the rosters currently constructed – and their entire Starting Staff still looks in better shape to the Astros or Rangers (pending the offseason still).

With this transaction, I may even say that the Mariners should be the favorites in the Division as of right now. 

Houston has Starting Pitcher and Reliever issues.  While they have the best SS/2B tandem in the league with Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, George Springer has not maximized his full potential, and the lineup was fairly poor once you reached the 2nd half of the lineup last year.

The Mariners must continue to realize their window for this roster is 1 – 2 years.  Felix Hernandez is 30, yet he has logged a pile of career Innings (2415.2) – and maybe only has a few years left of being a premiere Chucker.

Iwakuma is 35, and while he has bolstered great numbers as a Pitcher for the M’s, he is only under contract for 2 more seasons.

Nelson Cruz is coming off of 3 straight seasons of 40+ HRs, but he will also turn 36 during the 2017 season.

Seth Smith is in the last year of his contract – and has provided Seattle with professional AB – with a line of .248/.336./.429 – with 28 HRs and 105 RBI in 773 AB.

With Segura in the Lineup you could see a 1 – 9 of Segura/Smith/Cano/Cruz/Seager/Danny Valenicia or other 1B/Mike Zunino or Carlos Ruiz/The LF slot and then Leonys Martin.

I still think the Mariners should re-sign Franklin Gutierrez back to a one 1-2 year deal in order to platoon in the OF whenever there is A LHP thrown. 

Over his last 623 AB, Gutierrez has clubbed 39 HRs and 98 RBI – including an .884 OPS versus Southpaws during this last year. 

Since the club already traded for Danny Valencia (.924 OPS vs LHP, and Nelson Cruz (with a 1.020 OPS vs LHP), this team could truly dominate versus Lefties in the coming season if they can find a few million to sign Gutierrez.

Valencia could even pick up some ABs at 3B if the Mariners could spot Seager the odd day off versus a hard throwing LHP.

At Catcher, which was an abysmal part of their previous years heading into 2016, Mike Zunino finally showed some flashes of production in 2016 – posting a ,787 OPS – with 12 HRs and 31 RBi. 

This was much needed after he spent the majority of the season in the Minor Leagues.  The club also added Veteran Backstopper Carlos Ruiz ( who still hit for .792 OPS against LHP).  A nice platoon of these 2 men could be worked out with Zunino being the 1 guy.

Despite trading for both Taylor Motter and Richie Shaffer, I fully expect these guys just to be for added depth in the OF.  Gil Heredia is also an extra body to assume a position beyond the grass. 

Ideally the club should re-sign Gutierrez and have him patrol LF/Martin to be in CF – and the combination of Smith/Cruz to DH/play RF.

The offense continuously improves each season.

Chris Carter would be the perfect addition to compete the M's lineup. This man has been criminally underrated for the power and walks he has put forth over the last 4 campaigns. With the ability to DH/play 1B or LF, Carter would give the Mariners the best lineups on the daily basis to mash the pitching,

Chris Carter would be the perfect addition to compete the M’s lineup. This man has been criminally underrated for the power and walks he has put forth over the last 4 campaigns. With the ability to DH/play 1B or LF, Carter would give the Mariners the best lineups on the daily basis to mash the pitching,

Seattle is looking at about a $145 Million Dollar Payroll if they were to keep the same team – and then add Gutierrez back. 

If I were them, I would look into acquiring Chris Carter from the Milwaukee Brewers.  He has two years left of Arbitration – and clubbed a NL Leading 41 HRs last season.

The salary range to pay Carter over the next 2 seasons would likely be $22M – $26M. 

The team could withstand a lower average from him considering the rest of the guys in their lineup that they already possess

Seattle could send back a package that includes 1B Dan Vogelbach.  Carter is also perfect because he could also DH and play LF. 

That kind of versatility could be used.  It boggled my mind how the Astros non-tendered him last season and suffered at 1B all year for it.  Carter has smacked 131 bombs over the last 4 years. 

The X factor of the whole team could very well be James Paxton.  This Canadian Southpaw needs to steps his game up, assume a top 3 Pitching Spot.  He is still young enough, and definitely has the velocity. 

At 28 years old, Paxton could really make the decision to trade Walker instead of him look beneficial to the franchise – should he finally live up to his potential. 

Paxton is 18- 15, with a nice 3.43 ERA and 1.276 WHIP spanning 50 Career Game Starts.

Ariel Miranda and Nate Karns round out the Staff, and are both competent Lefties at their optimum best.

The Bullpen looks solid with young Closer Edwin Diaz being one of the best young Late inning Relief arms in the game, while also featuring veterans Nate Vincent and Steve Cishek as more than capable setup man.  Seattle has fared decently with finding Relievers on the cheap.

Seattle is holding the longest playoff drought in the Majors having not qualified for the postseason since their record 116 win season in 2001 (Ichiro Suzuki‘s 1st year year in the Majors..)

I also think the Rangers are taking a step back this year. Houston will be tough, however I would take the entire depth of the offense that Seattle has right now, and the top 2 starters the Marines hold as opposed to the Astros.

I also contend that Cano/Cfuz and Seager is the best 3-4-5 lineup in baseball now.

Martin should hit 9th in the order so you can have him hit in front of Segura.  Both men could run rampant around the bases for the heart of the order.

The Diamondbacks traded 2 years of service in Segura, for 4 years of Team Control in Walker.  The 24 Year old SP has showed some improvements in 2016 – but he is still has had issues with his delivery and health. 

There is no doubt that his ceiling could end up making this a great trade for Arizona, but this was a deal the Mariners could afford to try out with their talent level at at Starting Pitching. 

They also have a roster that crushes either Right Handed or Left Handed Pitchers based on the pitcher they are facing and splits.

Seattle should keep pushing their chips forward towards the 2017 and 2018 seasons before trying to scale down salaries for the last half of the Cano era.

Taijuan Walker was picked in the 1st round of the 2010 Amateur Draft by the Mariners. He, along with James Paxtpn, were supposed to take the next step as a starter to round out the Starting Staff behind King Felix. Walker has put forth a 22 -22 record with a 4.18 ERA in 357..2 Frames during his MLB Career thus far.

Taijuan Walker was picked in the 1st round of the 2010 Amateur Draft by the Mariners. He, along with James Paxtpn, were supposed to take the next step as a starter to round out the Starting Staff behind King Felix. Walker has put forth a 22 -22 record with a 4.18 ERA in 357..2 Frames during his MLB Career thus far.  He battled injuries to post a bad 5.21 ERA  and 1.407 WHIP in 9 Starts after ALL – Star  Break – after throwing to a 3.68 ERA in his 1st 16 Starts prior -with a WHIP of a respectable 1.14.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their other partners.***

A big thanks goes out to our ‘Chief Writer/Part Owner’ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

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About hunterstokes21

I Played NCAA Baseball at Liberty University in the 90's with Sid Bream's kid Sheldon. Once Hit a Home Run by hitting a hot air balloon that was coming over 2nd base (It was agreed that if a balloon was hit before game by the umpires and coaches - even though they were setting up in LF/CF Bleachers). I believe in the "Church Of Baseball". Come in for worship anytime.

Posted on November 26, 2016, in MLB Trades and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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