SEATTLE -- While the Winter Meetings are still a week away, the Jerry-Go-Round continued spinning full tilt on Monday for the Mariners.Less than two hours after finalizing a blockbuster trade sending All-Stars Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Mets in exchange for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, and prospects Jarred
SEATTLE -- While the Winter Meetings are still a week away, the Jerry-Go-Round continued spinning full tilt on Monday for the Mariners.
Less than two hours after finalizing a blockbuster trade sending All-Stars Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the Mets in exchange for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, and prospects Jarred Kelenic (Mariners' new No. 2 prospect), Justin Dunn (No. 3) and Gerson Bautista (No. 28), Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto dealt All-Star shortstop Jean Segura along with relievers Juan Nicasio and James Pazos to the Phillies for young shortstop J.P. Crawford and veteran first baseman Carlos Santana.
"Carlos Santana has been among the most durable players in the big leagues over the last eight years and has been a fixture in the middle of lineups during that time," Dipoto said. "He gets on base, he does damage at the plate and is quite an underrated first baseman.
"J.P. Crawford gives us a young shortstop who is very athletic and fills up the tool box; he hits, he runs, he plays defense, he throws, he has power. For the last four years running, he's been among the top 20 prospects in baseball."
Segura agreed to waive his no-trade clause to allow the deal to go through, becoming the seventh prominent Mariners player from last season's 89-73 club to be dealt by Dipoto in the last four weeks.
Segura, 28, led the Mariners with a .304 average last season while also totaling 10 home runs, 63 RBIs and a 3.8 WAR (per FanGraphs) and earning the second All-Star berth of his seven-year career by winning the American League's Final Vote fan balloting.
But Crawford adds another long-term piece to Dipoto's growing youth movement, as the 23-year-old was the Phillies' premier prospect since being selected in the first round of the 2013 Draft and was their Opening Day shortstop last season, though a strained forearm and broken left hand limited him to 49 games.
"I feel good now," said Crawford. "I'm back and healthy. Last year was tough. I couldn't really catch a break. But I tried to support my teammates any way I could, picking up signs or doing what I could to help my team win a ballgame whether I was playing or not."
Dipoto sees Crawford benefiting from an opportunity to flourish with playing time and a chance to shine in Seattle.
"He's still just 23 and despite the fact he struggled, he did OPS .712 last year," said Dipoto. "While he didn't hit for a high average, he controls the strike zone. We feel like with a fresh start in Seattle and working with [new infield coach] Perry Hill and given the opportunity to do the things he does, this is an exciting young player that we're thrilled to have."
With Crawford earning the MLB minimum for another two years and being under team control for five seasons, the Mariners will take on Santana and his two-year, $35 million contract to somewhat balance the finances since Segura still has four years and $59 million remaining on his deal.
The Mariners are also shipping Nicasio and his one-year, $9 million contract to the Phillies after an injury plagued 2018, along with Pazos, who posted a 2.88 ERA in 60 outings and has four years of team control remaining.
Crawford hit .214/.319/.393 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 138 plate appearances last season, but he is regarded as a quality defender who has yet to tap into his expected power and offensive production. He has played both third base and shortstop in his 72 games with the Phillies over the past two years.
Santana played 149 games at first base and 19 at third base last season in his age-32 season, posting a .229/.352/.414 line with 24 home runs and 86 RBIs. The nine-year veteran is a career .247/.363/.442 hitter who's averaged 25 homers and 84 RBIs over the past five seasons.
The Mariners also have first baseman Ryon Healy on their roster, so they could try to flip Santana in another trade. Or he and Healy could be used in combination at first base and designated hitter, where 38-year-old free agent Nelson Cruz isn't expected to be re-signed.
Dipoto has already made four other trades this offseason as he looks to reboot a roster that missed the postseason for a 17th straight season.
Aside from dealing Segura, Cano and Diaz, the Mariners have traded No. 1 pitcher James Paxton to the Yankees, catcher Mike Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia to the Rays and setup man Alex Colome to the White Sox.
Dipoto didn't rule out trading Santana or Bruce to add more young prospects. But he indicated both veterans are the kind of clubhouse leaders who can benefit a rebuilding team and he welcomes their presence along with other returning players like Dee Gordon and Kyle Seager, who can set the right tone. And Crawford, who played with Santana last season in Philadelphia, welcomes the familiar face coming west with him.
"Carlos is a guy who loves the game and is going to play 100 percent every game," Crawford said. "He's an Energizer bunny and great teammate, one of the best I've ever had. He'll hit a lot of homers and play his butt off every day. I looked up to him as a leader and I'm excited he'll be there, too."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.