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Report: Mariners agree to trade Jean Segura to Phillies for J.P Crawford

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Update: Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the two clubs have agreed in principle to a trade involving Segura and Crawford, and other as yet unknown players. An official announcement will be made on Monday.

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that, once the Mariners’ trade with the Mets becomes official, another trade is already in the works. The Mariners and Phillies are reportedly in “serious talks” pertaining to All-Star shortstop Jean Segura. Segura has full no-trade protection, so he would need to waive that in order for a deal to be possible. As Ashley noted on Saturday, the Mariners have interest in shortstop J.P. Crawford, who would presumably be included in such a trade.

Segura, 28, has been one of the league’s better shortstops over the last three seasons. In 2018, he hit .304/.341/.415 with 10 home runs, 63 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 632 plate appearances. He is also an above-average defender according to many metrics.

Segura would certainly be an upgrade for the Phillies. This past season, the club got a meager .651 OPS out of its shortstops — mainly Scott Kingery. The only teams that got less offense out of that position were the Marlins (.645) and Brewers (.610).

Segura is under contract through 2022 at $14.25 million per year. His controlling team also has a $17 million club option for the 2023 season with a $1 million buyout. The Phillies, who very loudly have lots of money to spend, would have no problem absorbing that contract. Additionally, adding Segura wouldn’t necessarily preclude the Phillies from also signing free agent 3B/SS Manny Machado.

It comes as no surprise that Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto already has another trade lined up. The Mariners have already traded Mike Zunino, Alex Colomé, and James Paxton and have the pending trade with the Mets involving Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz. Once that trade becomes official and the Segura trade comes to fruition, the Mariners may attempt to move Mitch Haniger and Kyle Seager next.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.