Segura moving forward with contending Phillies
All-Star shortstop joins fourth team in past five seasons
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jean Segura said on Saturday that nobody needs to cross the street if they see him coming.
"I don't like to fight," Segura said at Spectrum Field.
But Segura became one of the Phillies' most notable offseason acquisitions, a two-time All-Star expected to give the organization its best overall production at shortstop since Jimmy Rollins left town, in part because of a little scuffle he had late last season with Mariners teammate Dee Gordon.
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A few months later, Seattle traded Segura, Juan Nicasio and James Pazos to the Phillies for Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford. The Mariners no longer wanted or needed Segura. They are rebuilding, also trading Robinson Canó, James Paxton and Edwin Díaz. The Phillies no longer wanted Santana, whose departure allows Rhys Hoskins to return to first base.
Segura expressed his joy about the trade on social media. On Saturday, he tried to clear the air about his rough-and-tumble past.
"It's over," Segura said. "I'm here now with new guys. I don't want people to [think] that I'm a trouble guy in the clubhouse or a trouble guy on the team. I never intend to fight nobody in baseball. If a fight comes to you, you know, as a grown man, you're not going to let it by. It's simple. I don't like to fight. I just want to be the best person I can be. I just want to continue moving forward as a person and as a good teammate. I like to help guys, help my teammates, especially now that I have a little bit of time in the big leagues."
Segura said he and Gordon are cool.
"Brothers always fight," Segura said. "Sometimes you need to fight with your brother to be cool. I'm cool, man. I don't like to fight. I'm cool. I'm a great guy. Maybe social media says different or you guys maybe. But if you get comfortable and talk to me, you'll see a different type of guy."
The Phillies' front office sees one of the better shortstops in the Majors. Segura, who turns 29 next month, hit .304 with 10 home runs, 63 RBIs and a .755 OPS in 632 plate appearances last season. He ranked ninth among 21 qualified shortstops with a 3.8 WAR, according to FanGraphs. Phillies shortstops had a combined 0.7 WAR, 27th in the Majors. Segura ranks seventh among shortstops in WAR over the past three seasons. Phillies shortstops placed 22nd.
Segura makes a ton of contact, which is a welcome addition to a swing-and-miss Phillies lineup. Segura's strikeout rate (10.9 percent) ranked fourth lowest out of 140 qualified hitters.
"I like to put the ball in play a lot because when you put the ball in play, there's a lot of opportunity to create runs, to get a base hit and be part of the game," Segura said. "That's one of my biggest things: Put the ball in play and make a lot of contact. With my speed, a lot of things can happen. When I get behind in the count, my discipline is really good, my contact rate is really good, so every time I try to swing at the ball, for some reason I hit it. I just try to get my pitch and square the ball up and play the game."
Segura is signed through 2022, making a club-friendly $14.85 million each of the next four seasons, with a $17 million club option or a $1 million buyout for '23. He could be here a while, which would be a welcome change for him. This is Segura's fourth team in the past five seasons.
"Every team that I've been on, they've been rebuilding. The Phillies are not rebuilding," Segura said. "I want to win. I came here to win. It's a great group of guys with good talent, good pitching, guys that have been in the playoffs before. I've never been in the playoffs before. I don't know what it's like. I want to get there. I like those pressure moments. I like those moments because as a player, you build for that moment, you build for winning championships, you build to be given the pressure. I'm looking forward to it."
And hopefully, no more clubhouse scuffles.
"Seattle is over. Now I'm in Philly," Segura said. "I know for sure people are going to ask me what happened in Seattle. They had their problems. Every team has their problems. Now I'm with the Phillies, and I'm looking forward."