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Mariners acquire Jean Segura as part of five-player trade with Diamondbacks

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Happy Thanksgiving! The Mariners announced late Wednesday night that the club acquired shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Mitch Haniger, and pitcher Zac Curtis from the Diamondbacks in exchange for pitcher Taijuan Walker and shortstop Ketel Marte.

Segura, 26, is the big name in the trade. He finished 13th in National League Most Valuable Player Award balloting this past season after batting .319/.368/.499 with 20 home runs, 64 RBI, 102 runs scored, and 33 stolen bases in 694 plate appearances. Segura led the league with 203 hits. He’s a decent defender having primarily played shortstop but also some second base. The Mariners will use him at shortstop to fill the gap left by Marte and Robinson Cano, of course, will man second base.

Haniger, 25, made his major league debut in 2016 and hit .229/.309/.404 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 123 plate appearances. He split the rest of the season between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno. The Mariners don’t quite have their corner outfield situation cleared up yet, so Haniger could see some time there if he performs well in spring training.

Curtis, 24, also debuted this past season, racking up 13 1/3 innings in relief. The lefty mustered a 6.75 ERA with an unfortunate 10/13 K/BB ratio. Curtis will likely begin next season in the minor leagues but could earn a mid-season promotion to provide some bullpen depth.

Walker, 24, has dealt with injuries and inconsistency since ranking as one of the best prospects in baseball several years ago. In 357 career innings, Walker has a 4.18 ERA with a 322/99 K/BB ratio. He’s still young enough where the Diamondbacks can hope for more progress. His 2016 effort wasn’t too shabby but he’s very prone to the homer, having given up 27 of them in 134 1/3 innings last season.

Marte, 23, was pretty ineffective with the bat for the Mariners, hitting .259/.287/.323 with 24 extra-base hits, 33 RBI, 55 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases across 466 plate appearances. Some of the poor offense can be blamed on a lengthy bout with mononucleosis during the second half, but he’s always been more of a singles hitter. In Marte, the Diamondbacks were looking for a controllable young middle infielder. That’s as opposed to Segura, who will be heading into two more expensive years of salary arbitration before heading for free agency.

Lots of trade analysis tends to pit one team versus the other in terms of who won, but both sides appeared to get what they wanted out of this deal, unsurprisingly.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.