The Padres and Mariners reportedly engaged in trade talks Tuesday afternoon that would send Jean Segura and Mike Leake to the Padres in exchange for outfielder Wil Myers.
The San Diego Padres were extremely active this Tuesday, as they scrambled to make moves that would eventually clear space on their 40-man roster to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, which is in December. All of the moves made by the team will certainly have some sort of impact on the team, but it’s possible that the most impactful move made by the team has not even been made yet.
Ken Rosenthal, of The Athletic, reported Tuesday afternoon that the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres have been in talks about a trade that would send Wil Myers to the Mariners in exchange for Mike Leake and Jean Segura.
There have been talks that the Padres have been trying to move on from Myers and his not so friendly team contract. The Padres currently have a crowded outfield full of young talent on much more affordable contracts than Wil Myers and his current deal. Myers did make the switch to third base towards the end of last season, but both the eye-test and analytics show that he did not have much success at the hot corner. On top of not knowing where he fits in with the team, Myers is owed $64 million dollars over the next four seasons as he is on an extremely backloaded contract he signed two years ago.
Putting all the negatives aside, Myers may be the best overall hitter on this team when he is healthy. An all-star in 2016, Myers has tremendous power to all parts of the field and hit a combined 58 home runs between the 2016 and 2017 seasons. The only problem, however, is that he has been known to struggle with injuries since he began his big-league tenure. A wrist injury forced the former AL Rookie of the Year to sit out most of the 2015 season and several other injuries, including an oblique strain, caused him to miss almost half of the season in 2018.
In order to move the 27-year-old, the Padres will certainly have to eat either some of his money or take on an expensive contract from another player. For this exact reasons, the Mariners are an ideal trade partner for the Padres.
#Padres have discussed a trade with #Mariners in which they would acquire SS Jean Segura and RHP Mike Leake for OF Wil Myers, sources tell The Athletic. Leake would need to waive his no-trade clause for deal to occur, and also is weighing other potential options, one source says.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 20, 2018
After trading away James Paxton to the New York Yankees yesterday, the Mariners have made it clear to the entire baseball world that they are fully prepared to enter a massive rebuild. With Paxton gone, the next big domino to fall should be all-star shortstop Jean Segura.
Acquired from the Diamondbacks in 2016, Segura has done nothing but hit since he arrived in Seattle. In his two seasons with the Mariners, Segura has posted a .302/.345/.421 batting line with 335 hits, 21 home runs, and 108 RBI. Segura has an extremely advanced recognition of the strike zone, as he has only struck out more than 100 times once in his career. The 28-year-old could slide right into the top of the Padres lineup and would immediately become the team’s best hitter.
He is not an elite defender, but his decent range and a strong enough arm make him good enough to not be a liability with the glove. The Padres would more than likely ask Segura to fill in at shortstop until Fernando Tatis Jr. is ready to make his debut. Once Tatis is ready, however, it becomes very interesting as to where the Padres could potentially play Segura. With Luis Urias likely holding down second base, the team could elect to keep Segura and play Tatis at third base or vice-versa. From a defensive standpoint, playing Tatis at third and keeping Segura at shortstop probably makes the most sense, as Tatis has the arm strength and some kind of experience actually playing third base.
In order to actually bring Segura over from Seattle, however, the Padres would have to eat the contract of Mike Leake. Segura and Leake combined are set to make $85 million dollars, until their contracts expire, with Leake making $27 million over the next two years (with a buyout for 2021).
The 31-year-old is a San Diego native and is entering his ninth season in the big leagues. Last year, in 185 2/3 innings pitched, Leake posted a 10-10 record with a 4.36 ERA, 119 strikeouts, and only 34 walks. While his numbers are not super impressive, Leake would be a formidable starter for the Padres in 2019. His ability to pitch deep into the season, as proven by the fact that he has pitched more than 170 innings in seven of his big league seasons, gives the Padres a decent pitcher that can eat innings for them as their pitching prospects continue to develop. In the best case, Leake has a strong start to the 2019 season and the team can flip him to a contender in desperate need of pitching for some sort of young talent.
While the money works out, the big issue surrounding this proposed trade is this: both Jean Segura and Mike Leake have a full no-trade clause that they would have to waive in order for the Mariners to trade them. This essentially means that Segura and Leake have full control over where they want to go.
The Mariners have been listening to other offers for both of these players and it is possible that they would want to play for a contending team, rather than a team like the Padres. There is hope, however, as Leake is from San Diego and a potential reunion with his hometown team might be appealing to him. An opportunity to play with two up-and-coming stars in Fernando Tatis Jr. and Luis Urias, as well as an established veteran in Eric Hosmer, may be enough to sway Segura into waiving his no-trade clause as well.
This trade benefits both of these teams tremendously. The Mariners get a relatively young player in Wil Myers that is still extremely talented and may just need a change of scenery to get himself going again, while also getting rid of Mike Leake’s contract. The Padres, on the other hand, get one of the best hitting shortstops in the game and could potentially use him to fill their gap at third base. They would also be getting a veteran pitcher that could eat innings for them and could also be flipped at the deadline. While this deal is not believed to be close, if it were to happen, both of these clubs would be benefitting tremendously.