Marlins see fit at 3B for new signing Segura

Two-time All-Star shortstop 'a great addition to the Miami family'

January 12th, 2023

MIAMI -- A week after announcing as their first Major League free-agent signing of the offseason, the Marlins introduced the two-time All-Star infielder on Wednesday morning at loanDepot park.

Segura, who inked a two-year contract worth $17 million (with a club option for a third year), already has been training with his new teammates and coaches.

"I played in that division for the last four, five years," Segura said. "I live here. The reason I said to come here is just because I see great talent. The group of guys here, especially young guys here, they have such a great talent. To be honest, I just said to come here because I see the great talent here to compete in a high level, and all that they need here [is to] just stay together and good things will happen here.

"I think everybody's happy. When you come to Miami, they've got really good pitching. Everybody knows how great, how good it is. Our starting rotation is pretty good. That's a great stadium here to pitch, great stadium to hit the way I hit. Honestly, just happy to be here."

An 11-year MLB veteran, Segura has a career slash line of .285/.330/.408 with 232 doubles, 45 triples, 107 homers and 250 stolen bases. He had been a familiar foe to Miami, playing for Philadelphia over the past four seasons. Until this past October, Segura had been the active leader for most regular-season games played without reaching the postseason.

On the heels of their run to the World Series, the Phillies declined their $17 million club option on Segura for 2023, instead paying him a $1 million buyout. That made Segura a free agent for the first time, heading into his age-33 season.

This offseason, the Marlins hoped to bolster their lineup, which finished with the third-fewest runs in the Majors in 2022. General manager Kim Ng had previously mentioned the club’s desire to find contact-oriented bats, and Segura fits that profile. He finished in the 86th percentile in whiff percentage and 88th percentile in K percentage last season, per Statcast. On defense, Segura ranked in the 84th percentile in Outs Above Average. He recorded 1.7 Wins Above Replacement (per Fangraphs), and Steamer projects him at 2.5 WAR in ‘23.

"Jean was always on our radar, obviously have seen him quite a lot having been in the same division with him for a number of years," Ng said. "He's a really nice combination of power, speed, some positional versatility. He has got playoff experience now, and just thought he would be a good fit. Obviously, we chased some free agents earlier, eventually landed on Jean, but think he's a great addition to the Miami family."

Hours later on Wednesday, the Marlins dealt shortstop to the Dodgers for infield prospect Jacob Amaya. Segura, who had spent most of his career at shortstop, has predominantly appeared at second base since 2021, with plus-16 OAA -- third most in MLB over that span. Prior to the trade, Ng said Segura would be "getting a lot of time at third base," where he has played 24 times -- all in ‘20. The Marlins non-tendered Brian Anderson, their homegrown third baseman from 2017-22, on Nov. 18.

Segura and are the primary internal options with Major League experience to start at shortstop. On Thursday morning, Ng said the organization hasn't decided on whether to keep All-Star second baseman there.

Not only is Segura deferring his position to Chisholm, but he also is relinquishing his No. 2 uniform. Segura said he was excited for the challenge of manning the hot corner, comparing the transition to the previous one he made going from short to second.

"I think one of the main factors in that was his arm; he's got a very good arm," Ng said. "We don't think that there's going to be any issue transferring over."

As last week's corresponding 40-man roster move, Miami designated for assignment infielder Charles Leblanc. Acquired in the Minor League phase of the 2021 Rule 5 Draft, he debuted on July 30, 2022, and posted a 104 OPS+ in 48 games. On Wednesday, he cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Jacksonville.

The Marlins' middle-infield and third-base options include Segura, Chisholm, Wendle, , No. 12 prospect Jordan Groshans, No. 16 prospect Xavier Edwards and Jacob Amaya, who is coming over in the Rojas deal. Wendle is only under club control through the 2023 season, while Groshans and Edwards were acquired in '22 trades.

"Our hitting coach [Brant Brown] referred to [Jean] as a hit machine," Ng said. "Adding that to the mix along with the versatility I think has been really helpful. Last year, you saw injuries really decimated us in a lot of ways. He was a good name to add."