The Diamondbacks are making a statement in 2016 by first signing Zack Greinke followed by trading for Shelby Miller at the winter metings. They now adding to that by making a trade that not only gets rid of Aaron Hill's contract, but also adds a former All-Star Shortstop in Jean Segura. In order to facilitate that trade, the Diamondbacks had to include shortstop prospect Isan Diaz.
Jean Segura is a player who could benefit from a change in scenery and a different voice in his ear. Segura had a strong 2013 with a .294/.329/.423 batting line to go with stellar defense that made him an All-Star. In the last two years, his bat has fallen off a cliff and the Diamondbacks are hoping for it to bounce back. The biggest culprit would be his inability to lay off pitches out of the zone, a problem that has gotten worse the last two years. His O-Swing has ballooned from 32.9% in 2013 to 34.4% in 2014 and 38.6% in 2015. The increase of swings at pitches out of the zone has cratered his walk rate, which was a measly 2.2%. That needs to change if Segura hopes to play at an All-Star level again.
Moving to Chase Field should play into Segura's strengths. The gaps play deep and would allow for Segura to use his speed and stretch out another base. Segura isn't a big HR hitter, but his BABIP and ISO should improve with a move to Arizona. Segura has been exclusively a shortstop at the MLB level and there is a chance he beats Ahmed out for that job, but I have to imagine the team will also try him out at the 2B position this Spring as well. This move also allows for the Diamondbacks to not be forced to keep Chris Owings at the MLB level because he can play shortstop.
The Diamondbacks also sent Chase Anderson to the Brewers in the package. Chase Anderson has been a solid replacement level starter, but doesn't have a lot of long term value with the organization because their top two prospects on the cusp of the majors. The team could afford to part with Anderson in that regard without completely shredding the starting pitcher depth. In addition, it allows the team to get out of about $6.5M of Aaron Hill's $12M contract. With Phil Gosselin and Brandon Drury already on the 40-man roster, Hill was ultimately a redundant piece and had to go. Hill brought us great memories since the Dbacks acquired him in August 2011, but ultimately his career is near the end and the Diamondbacks needed to get younger.
The other notable piece in this trade is prospect Isan Diaz. Diaz raked in the pioneer league and was named the league's MVP, but the Diamondbacks felt that he was too far away to reliably count on long term, a common theme with this front office. Diaz would have likely started 2016 in Kane County and had at least another 3 years to go. The front office feel that the next three years are the team's best three years at getting a title and have borrowed from the future in order to maximize the talent now. These moves that depleted a very strong farm system and the team will have to draft very well in order to replace those losses. Diaz could conceivably grow into an All-Star 6-7 years down the road, but if the Diamondbacks are able to get a title over the next 3 years, then no one will care.
From this offseason, the Diamondbacks are trying to follow the path of the Kansas City Royals from 2013-2015. Whether these moves turn out like they did for Kansas City we'll have to wait. The Diamondbacks are hoping that a rebound by Segura improves the team at both the SS or 2B position. In addition it allows for the team to build more depth at the SS position. My only concern is the Diamondbacks may have picked up a player who is redundant with Chris Owings at the cost of a prospect who could help the team past the current window. As with every trade, we need to wait a few years before deciding who realistically won that trade.