Matt Hazlett/Getty Images

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

8 Comments

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.

The Players’ Weekend uniforms are terrible

Getty Images
12 Comments

The Yankees and the Dodgers have a storied World Series history, having met in the Fall Classic 11 times. Part of what made those falls so classic was the livery worn by each club.

The Yankees’ uniforms have gone unchanged since 1936. The Dodgers, though changing cities in 1958, have had the same basic, classic look with only minor derivations for almost as long. You can’t even say the names of these teams without picturing pinstripes, those red Dodgers numbers, both teams’ clean road grays, the Yankees navy and the Dodgers’ Dodger blue.

They looked like a couple of expansion teams last night however, at least sartorially speaking.

As you probably know it’s Players’ Weekend this weekend, and teams all over the league wore either all black or all white with player-chosen nicknames on the back. We’ve had the nicknames for a couple of years now and that’s fine, but the black and white combo is new. It doesn’t look great, frankly. I riffed on that on Twitter yesterday a good bit. But beyond my mere distaste for the ensembles, they present a pretty problematic palette, too.

For one thing the guys in black blend in with the umpires. Quick, look at these infields and tell me who’s playing and who’s officiating:

The white batting helmets look especially bad:

But some guys — like Enrique Hernandez of the Dodgers, realized that pine tar makes the white helmets look super special:

There was also a general issue with the white-on-white uniforms in that it’s rather hard to read the names and the numbers on the backs of the jerseys. This was especially true during the Cubs-Nationals game in the afternoon sunlight. You’ll note this as a much bigger problem on Sunday. It’s all rather ironic, of course, that the players have been given the right to put fun, quirky nicknames on the backs of their jerseys but no one can really see them.

The SNY booth was reading many people’s minds last night, noting how much Mad Magazine “Spy vs. Spy” energy this is throwing off:

I’ll also note that if you’re flipping between games or looking at highlights on social media it’s super hard to even tell which team is which — and even what game’s highlights you’re seeing — just by looking which, you know, is sort of the point of having uniforms in the first place.

I’m glad the players have a weekend in which they’re allowed to wear what they want. I just wish they’d wear something better.