In what may be the first of many offseason moves by the Phillies, the team has “agreed in principle” to a deal to acquire shortstop Jean Segura and relievers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos from the Mariners. The trade would send first baseman Carlos Santana and infielder J.P. Crawford to Seattle. It’s the second high-profile deal the Mariners have pulled off after sending Robinson Cano and closer Edwin Diaz to the Mets for Jay Bruce, relievers Anthony Swarzak and Gerson Bautista and two prospects. The Cano deal was finalized just prior to word of the deal between the Phillies and Mariners on Monday afternoon.
Segura, who was an American League All-Star in 2018, will turn 29 during spring training. He played in 144 games with Seattle this past season and hit 10-63-.304/.341/.415 with 20 stolen bases. In six full seasons in the majors, Segura has averaged a line of 11-50-.288/.328/.408 with 27 stolen bases per season while playing for the Brewers (2013-2015), Diamondbacks (2016) and Mariners (2017-2018).
Defensively, Segura’s fielding percentages are just under league average at shortstop. Last season he posted a .969 fielding percentage, just under the league average of .971. He posted a range factor per nine innings of 3.77 compared to the 3.84 league average. In addition to playing shortstop, where he has played in 763 major league games, he played 23 games at second base with Arizona in 2016 with solid fielding results.
Segura had a full no-trade clause but waived it for a $1-million assignment payment that was paid by the Mariners. The no-trade clause remains intact in his contract.
The 32-year old Nicasio pitched in two games with the Phillies in 2017 when he also pitched for St. Louis and Pittsburgh. The Phillies selected him off waivers from the Pirates on August 31st and six days later dealt him to St. Louis for Eliezer Alvarez. Nicasio signed a two-year, $17-million deal with Seattle last December. Over eight seasons, Nicasio, a right-hander, is 38-43 with eight saves and a 4.64 ERA. In 2018 he was 1-6 with a 6.00 ERA in 46 relief appearances with the Mariners.
Pazos is a 27-year old left-hander, who was 4-1 and posted a 2.88 ERA in 60 relief appearances with Seattle last season. Over the past two seasons, he’s pitched to a 3.39 ERA and has 110 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings of work in 119 games with the Mariners. He was drafted by the Yankees in the 13th round of the 2012 Draft and then dealt to Seattle for righty Zack Littell in November of 2016. Pazos isn’t eligible for arbitration until after next season and won’t qualify for free agency until following the 2022 season. Pazos still has two minor league options remaining.
Crawford has been somewhat of an enigma for the Phillies. He’s got an overload of talent but has never put it all together at the higher levels of the minors or in his small sample size of playing time in the majors. Crawford turns 24 next month and has played in 72 major league games with the Phillies over the past two seasons, hitting 3-18-.214/.333/.358 in 225 plate appearances. At one point, Crawford appeared to be the heir-apparent to Jimmy Rollins at shortstop, but injuries and falling stats in the minors bumped him from that future. The Phillies recalled Crawford in September but used him sparingly, giving him just 24 at-bats in September.
Crawford’s defense has slid as well, and he committed nine errors last season, all of which were throwing errors. During his time in the majors, the Phillies have had Crawford play 36 games at short, 26 at third base and four at second base.
The Phillies signed Santana just under a year ago, adding him on a three-year, $60-million deal which also includes a team option for 2021 at $17.5-million or a $500-thousand buyout. Seattle is picking up all of Santana’s remaining contract as the Phillies are with Segura (four years, $57-million, plus a $17-million team option or $1-million buyout for the 2023 season). Nicasio’s inclusion in the deal is primarily just to offset the money part of the trade as Seattle looks to dump salary.
Santana had a rough start to his days in Philadelphia when he struggled out of the gate offensively last season. Santana was hitting as low as .131 on April 18th and didn’t cross the .200 plateau until May 23rd when a 2-for-4 day against Atlanta put him at .202 on the season. By the end of the season, Santana came close to hitting some of his major league averages that he set as a member of the Cleveland Indians. In 161 games, he hit 24-86-.229/.352/.414 with the Phillies. With Cleveland he had averaged a line of 22-73-.249/.365/.445 over eight seasons.