The Seattle Mariners have formally announced the completion of shortstop Jean Segua’s contract extension. As reported last night, the deal is for $70 million over five years and includes a team option for 2023 worth $17 million.
Here’s the statement issued by Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto:
“Over the past two seasons, Jean has been one of the premier offensive players in baseball. His combination of average, power and speed is extremely difficult to find, especially as a top-of-the-lineup hitter at a key defensive position like shortstop. We are all quite excited about having him here with the Mariners and believe he is a key ingredient in our ongoing effort to build a championship level roster.”
Segura, 27, broke into the league in 2012 with the Brewers and had a fantastic 2013 campaign with Milwaukee back in 2013. After two tough years which included the death of his infant son, Segura was sensational with the Diamondbacks last season, hitting .319/.368/.499 with 20 homers and 33 steals. Though he is currently on the disabled list with a high ankle sprain, he’s leading the league with a .341 batting average and is boasting a .391 on-base percentage and a .462 slugging percentage across 198 plate appearances.
Segura is making $6.2 million this season and was to face arbitration for the final time this coming offseason. Now that’s torn up and a minimum of $70 million is heading his way.
Athletics president Dave Kaval is ready to take full advantage of the interleague series between the Giants and A’s this season. While the two teams customarily play a few preseason “Battle of the Bay” games each year, they’re also scheduled to meet each other six times during the regular season; once for a three-game set in San Francisco, then for a three-game set in Oakland. On Saturday, Kaval announced that any Giants fans looking to park at the Coliseum this year will be charged $50 instead of the standard, general admission $30 — an additional “rivalry fee” that can be easily waived by shouting, “Go A’s!” at the gate.
This isn’t the first time that a major-league team has tried to keep rival fans at bay, though Kaval doesn’t seem all that intent on actually driving fans away from the ballpark. Back in 2012, the Nationals staged a “Take Back the Park” campaign after people began complaining that Phillies fans were overtaking Nationals Park during rivalry games. They limited a single-series presale of Nats-Phillies tickets to buyers within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in hopes of filling the stands with a few more friendly faces. Washington COO Andy Feffer told the press that while he would treat all guests with “respect and courtesy,” he wanted Phillies fans to feel irked enough to pay attention to the Nationals. In the end, things went… well, a little south for all involved.
Whether the Giants are planning any retaliatory measures has yet to be seen, but it’s not as if this is going to be an enforceable rule. The real travesty here, if you’re an A’s fan or just pretending to be one, is that the parking fees have increased from $20 to $30 this season. Unless you’re a season ticket holder with a prepaid $10 parking permit, it’s far better to brave the crowds and take advantage of local public transportation. There are bound to be far fewer irate Giants fans on BART than at the gates — even if the gag only lasts a few days out of the year.