The Diamondbacks have announced that they’ve acquired starter Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte from the Mariners for Jean Segura, Mitch Haniger, and Zac Curtis. Jeff Passan was first to reportthat a deal was close between the two teams.
As pit readers are aware, Segura is coming off a career season in 2016 where he led the National League in hits with 203. On the season he managed a triple slash of .319/.368/.499 and clubbed 20 home runs while stealing 33 bases. He was worth 5.7 bWAR, playing almost exclusively at second base. It would seem he is returning to his roots as a shortstop though, as Seattle already has Robinson Cano at second base.
Joining Segura in Seattle is Mitch Haniger. Haniger made his debut in 2016. He only had 109 at-bats across 34 games. He managed a line of .229/.309/.404 with 5 home runs. While not entirely impressive, Haniger did appear to be a front-runner for the fourth outfielder slot. It would seem that Jeremy Hazelbaker now holds that position.
Along with Haniger and Segura, the Diamondbacks are sending Zac Curtis, the left-hander who made an impression in his 2016 big league debut by making the jump from A+ to MLB. While he had great success in his first 10 games, the next four were pretty rocky. On the season Curtis finished with an unspectacular 6.75 ERA, walking 13 batters in 13.1 innings while striking out only 10. Still, it was a big jump for him and he did show that he has the stuff to have big league success.
Coming back to Arizona is former top prospect Taijuan Walker, a hard-throwing right-hander. After stalling out in AAA due to development and injury, Walker made his big league debut in August of 2013. He finally cracked the Seattle rotation in 2015. HIs 2015 and 2016 seasons were a disappointment by most standards and especially by expectations. In the two seasons combined, Walkeer has only managed 54 starts and 304 total innings. Over that span he has a 4.41 ERA, pretty much in line with his 4.48 FIP. On the plus side, he has limited his walks, allowing only 2.3 per nine innings and has a striekout rate of 8.2 per nine innings of work. Walker is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility in 2017. According to MLBTR he is expected to earn about $2.8 million in 2017, a fair sight less than the expected outlay of $7.3 million for Jean Segura.
The last piece in the deal is Ketel Marte, who until the trade had been the starting shortstop for the Mariners. Marte only recently turned 23, having made his debut at age 21. There is plenty of room for further development in the young middle infielder. Currently, defensive metrics tend to agree with reports that claim he might be better suited at second base, but there is still time for him to change minds in that department. As a full-time player in 2016 Marte posted a .259/.287/.323 batting line, good for an OPS+ of 68. He will need to improve on that significantly if he is going to stick with Arizona in 2017. Right now it would look like he is more than likely headed to Reno.
With his first trade, Mike Hazen has shown he is willing to go big.
“Young, controllable pitching is hard to find and adding Taijuan to the rotation gives us significant depth in that area,” Hazen says. “In Ketel, we believe we have acquired a talented switch-hitting shortstop to join a very solid core of young middle infielders.”
I’m fairly certain all of us here at the Snake Pit are hoping he is a better judge of trade talent than the last regime.