7 CHAMPIONSHIP MOVES 2 MAKE M'S FANS UNCOMFORTABLE

MOVE #4: GOOD BYE NORMAL JEAN

Okay, so he’s better than normal, but “Good Bye, First Time All-Star Who Wears Out His Welcome In The Clubhouse Jean” is a terrible song title.

The greater point is; I’m trading Jean Segura.

Why?

Because he has trade value, and I want—make that, crave—more talent in the farm system.

Since last we’ve blogged, Jerry Dipoto has made his first splash of the offseason, dealing Mike Zunino for Mallex Smith. I suspect James Paxton is next, for he sports the greatest trade value on the current roster. In my proposed Paxton trade (see Move #3), I have the lefthander bringing back three good prospects from Toronto (though it doesn’t look like Zunino will be included in the deal).

Next move? Trade Segura.

THE DEAL

Jean Segura to Washington for Carter Kieboom & Reid Schaller

CARTER KIEBOOM is the Nationals 2nd ranked prospect—a hit-first minor league shortstop whose Major League future is likely at 3rd base. Kieboom is 21, his ETA to the bigs 2020, which could make for a pretty natural transition. He could play shortstop for his first two seasons, until his 6’2”, 195 pound frame outgrows the position. Then, once Kyle Seager’s contract expires after the 2021 campaign, Kieboom moves to the third. MLB.com ranks Kieboom as the game’s 37th best prospect, so we’re not exactly asking for an elite-level guy, but the floor seems to be high for the young infielder.

REID SCHALLER is a 21-year old flamethrower, who the Nats have tabbed as a career reliever. At 6’3”, 210, Schaller consistently throws a fastball in the upper 90’s. He has back-end of the bullpen written all over him, as long as his second pitch develops and the Tommy John repair holds.

WHY WOULD WASHINGTON DO IT?

They might not. But…

At 28, Segura is still in his prime. Last year’s 5 year, $70 million deal isn’t cheap, but one could argue that a middle infielder with a combined last three seasons of 308/353/449 is a bargain—particularly if Segura is allowed to move back to his more natural defensive position of second base.

 The Nationals are going to lose Bryce Harper. Apparently, the organization had set aside 300-million to keep him. Where do they go with all that money? They’ve already said their farewell to Daniel Murphy, so it seems the Nats have an opening at secondbase. And with Max Scherzer & Stephen Strasburg still in the rotation, I don’t think Washington should be considering a rebuild. 

Segura could represent a nice piece in their “life goes on without Bryce” plan.

AS THE DUST SETTLES

Jean Segura has been a good Mariner. Since joining the organization, he’s hit the ball to all fields, sprayed doubles and triples into the gaps, played aggressively, stolen bases and hasn’t killed the M’s with his glove. Yep, sounds like a guy with trade value to me.

Furthermore, Segura has been labeled a player who wears out his welcome in the clubhouse, and that maybe his locker room scuffle with Dee Gordon was more a culmination of events rather than an isolated incident.

Zunino is gone. Paxton is next. And I think Segura will waive his no-trade for the right destination.

THE NEW BLOOD

Jerry Dipoto has added a 25-year old centerfielder with three years of control. That is a scientific fact.

And through my two “fantasy” trades, I’ve added five prospects, including two of baseball’s best 40 in Bo Bichette and Carter Kieboom.

We haven’t solved everything, but we’re on the right path—the championship path.

Then again, I do have 3 more moves to go…

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