The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Seattle Mariners pulled off a blockbuster trade last week as the Diamondbacks sent SS Jean Segura, OF Mitch Haniger, and LHP Zac Curtis for RHP Taijuan Walker and INF Ketel Marte.
Jean Segura had an outstanding season for the Diamondbacks in 2016 as he hit .319 with 20 home runs. It is uncommon for a team to trade a player that is coming off of a great season, but in this case it makes sense for the Diamondbacks. Segura had two bad seasons before coming to the Diamondbacks offseason, so in all likelihood he is due to have a regression in production next season. Trading away Mitch Haniger might not have been a good move for Arizona since Haniger is young and he has a decent amount of potential. However, Haniger probably would have struggled to find a role in the Diamondbacks crowded outfield. Zac Curtis was terrible at the major league level last season and in the upper levels of the minor leagues, so Arizona really had no use or patience for him anymore. Meanwhile, the return for the Diamondbacks is certainly interesting. Taijuan Walker is a dynamic talent who was a top MLB prospect not too long ago. However, he has struggled with consistency at the major league level as he is 22-22 with a 4.18 ERA in his career. There is doubt that Walker has tons of potential, but in order to become a front-of-the rotation starter like he was expected to be a few years ago then he’ll have to learn to have better command of his pitches. Walker has a really strong arm and he’s only 24 years old, so there is still room for improvement if he can be developed correctly in Arizona. It’s hard for the Diamondbacks pitching staff to get much worse, so at least Walker can be a valuable part of what looks like it could be a really good starting rotation. Also, the addition of Ketel Marte could prove to be beneficial for the Diamondbacks. Marte had a really disappointing first full season in the MLB as he played very poor defense. Also, he only hit .259 with 1 home run and 33 RBI’s in 119 games played for Seattle in 2016. Marte still has a lot of work to do, but he is only 23 years old so his potential is still sky-high. Marte will be the starting shortstop for the Diamondbacks hopefully long-term and that will likely move Chris Owings over to 2nd base after the departure of Jean Segura. This trade has tons of star potential for Arizona, so this trade is probably good for Arizona. However, we’ll see how losing a star player like Jean Segura will impact the team.
This trade could turn out really well for the Mariners because of the potential that they are getting in this deal with Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger. I don’t expect Segura to have the same type of year that he did in 2016, but he is a big upgrade over Ketel Marte as the Mariners starting shortstop in 2017. Marte is only 23 years old, but he proved last year that he isn’t ready to be a starting shortstop in the MLB especially for a Mariners team that will compete for a playoff spot next season. Segura probably won’t even come close to hitting 20 home runs now that he is out of hitter-friendly Arizona and heading to pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. However, Segura is an instant upgrade at shortstop for the Mariners and he’ll be a key piece for the Mariners playoff push in 2017. Mitch Haniger could also make an impact for the Mariners in 2017. Haniger might not start right away for Seattle, but he at least provide some more depth in the Mariners outfield to start the season. Haniger only hit .229 with 5 home runs in 109 at-bats for Arizona last season, but at 25 years old he still has some potential to be a long-term starter in Seattle’s outfield. Finally, Zac Curtis is basically an extra addition to this trade for Seattle as the Diamondbacks didn’t have a use for him anymore. Curtis had a terrible 6.75 ERA in 21 games for Arizona, yet he could provide some bullpen depth for the Mariners in the short-term. Curtis could compete for a roster spot on opening day with Seattle, but in all likelihood he’ll be sent to Triple-A to see if he can improve. The Mariners decision to trade away 24-year old starting pitcher Taijuan Walker could hurt them in the future, but they just lost patience with him since he hasn’t been consistent at the MLB level. It will be hard to replace the talent of Walker in their starting rotation, yet the Mariners have enough quality starting pitching that they can afford to lose him. I really like this trade for the Mariners since they are getting a proven MLB player with Jean Segura and MLB-ready prospect Mitch Haniger. However, we’ll see if the departures of talented young players Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte will negatively impact the Mariners long-term.