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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.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.