Breaking down a potential Segura-Myers swap

Will the Mariners continue an already active offseason by trading their shortstop?

November 20th, 2018

Another day, another Mariners trade rumor. Such is the state of things for a franchise in flux featuring perhaps the most trade-happy general manager in Major League Baseball in Jerry Dipoto.
Seattle has the longest active streak of seasons without reaching the playoffs -- their last appearance was in 2001 -- among the four major pro sports, and the club recently has embarked on a roster "re-imagining" per Dipoto that already this offseason has brought the trades of catcher Mike Zunino to the Rays on Nov. 8 and lefty to the Yankees on Monday evening.
Those moves have raised the question: What's next for the Mariners? 
The latest? Seattle has had discussions with the Padres about a deal that potentially would send shortstop and right-hander Mike Leake to San Diego for first baseman/outfielder , according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.'s Jon Paul Morosi also is hearing that the two sides are in talks, with Leake involved.

The quick takeaway from this is that Dipoto is going to put his reputation as "Trader Jerry" to the test this winter, and the Mariners certainly seem to be intent on rebuilding, retooling, readjusting, remaking -- pick your preferred synonym -- the roster.
With Zunino and Paxton shipped off, Segura is one of the club's few remaining appealing trade chips, as he's coming off two strong seasons in Seattle in which he's slashed .302/.345/.421 while hitting at least 10 homers and stealing at least 20 bases each year. A 28-year-old shortstop, he is signed through 2022 for $57 million with a $17 million option for '23 (or a $1 million buyout).

Leake is due $31 million through 2020 with a mutual option for '21 at $18 million (or a $5 million buyout). The 31-year-old has proved to be a durable innings-eater, averaging 182 2/3 frames per season since signing his current five-year pact with the Cardinals in December 2015. St. Louis traded Leake -- who has a 4.32 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP the past three seasons -- to Seattle in August 2017 and chipped in money to do so.

While Segura could cover the shortstop position vacated by free agent in San Diego until elite prospect is ready and Leake would help fill out a rotation lacking in reliable arms, the fact that both players have full no-trade clauses complicates any potential swap.

Which brings us to Myers. The soon-to-be 28-year-old will earn $3 million next season before his salary spikes to $20 million per year through '22 with an option for another $20 million or a $1 million buyout in '23.
That's a lot for a player who has failed to live up to expectations since the Padres signed him long term in January 2017 with the hope he would become a franchise cornerstone. Amid being moved around the field as San Diego tried to find a defensive home for him after landing first baseman last offseason, Myers hit .253/.318/.446 in 2018 while being limited to 83 games due to three trips to the disabled list for three separate injuries.
Myers, presumably, would handle either first base in Seattle -- where is far from entrenched -- or left field, a position that is open after the departure of free agent .

The question for Dipoto and the Mariners: If they are looking to re-imagine the roster, get younger and save money going forward -- the trades for outfielder and the prospect package featuring lefty fit that bill -- why would they be looking to acquire a pricey, underperforming veteran in a deal involving Segura?

When a possible deal like this -- one between a pair of GMs known for making bold moves in Dipoto and the Padres' A.J. Preller -- is rumored, things can happen quickly. As's Greg Johns reports: "There have indeed been discussions between the teams, but nothing is believed close to happening at the moment. Of course, that can change in a hurry, but it doesn't sound like anything imminent."
These days, that sounds like something we'll be hearing a lot when it comes to the Mariners and Dipoto.