Phillies reportedly considering moving Jean Segura to different position

Jean Segura could play a different position in 2020. (John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

Last month, Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak raved about how valuable Scott Kingery’s defensive versatility makes him. While there’s some that would like to see Kingery play second base, his natural position, full-time, it appears that may not happen for some time.

Tuesday, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reported that the Phillies have had internal discussions about moving shortstop Jean Segura to second base or third base in 2020. Segura, who will turn 30 next March, posted -5 defensive runs saved and a -1.3 ultimate zone rating in 2019, his first season with the Phillies. Those numbers represent a decline from the five defensive runs saved and 0.8 ultimate zone rating that Segura posted in 2018 with the Seattle Mariners. (It is worth pointing out that different teams align their defenders differently, so Segura’s 2019 defensive decline may not be as simple as him no longer being an adequate shortstop, though it doesn’t paint a good picture of him as a defender.)

Segura had the best offensive season of his career in 2016, when he slashed .319/.368/.499 with 20 home runs, 33 RBIs and a 5.0 fWAR while primarily playing second base for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Defensive metrics suggest don’t suggest that Segura was a defensive star in 2016, but he was an All-Star and playing a less stressful defensive position could help him rebound from a 2019 season where his batting averaged dipped to .280 after three consecutive seasons of hitting .300 or better.

If the Phillies decide to have Segura play second base regularly, not only would that preclude Kingery from playing there, but it would also likely mean Cesar Hernandez’s time with the Phillies is over. Hernandez, the longest-tenure Phillie, does have another year of arbitration eligibility, but could be a trade candidate this offseason. Hernandez’s on-base percentage dropped 23 points in 2019, and 40 points between 2017 and 2019. Hernandez is still only 29, but he made $7.75 million in 2019, and likely will make more in 2020. That would be a lot to pay to someone at a position that the Phillies have two internal options capable of playing and is increasingly seen as replaceable in baseball.

While it’s possible Segura plays at multiple infield positions in 2020, a move to third base on a full-time basis feels pretty unlikely. Beyond the fact that he’s never played there at the major league level, Alec Bohm, the Phillies No. 1 overall prospect, is a third baseman. He’ll likely make his major league debut at some point next summer, at which time he’s likely to take over the position on a full-time basis.

If Segura moved away from shortstop, that would obviously leave a hole at shortstop. Kingery, who primarily played shortstop in his rookie season of 2018, could fill that, though the guess here is that the Phillies won’t want to limit him to just one position. It’s unclear what the Phillies plans for center field and third base – the two positions that Kingery played the most at in 2019 – are for 2020.

The only shortstop that could become a free-agent this offseason that would be a legitimate starting option is Didi Gregorius. The 29-year-old has struggled since returning from Tommy John Surgery, as he’s hit just .238 in 2019. The idea of signing him to a short-term deal this offseason could intrigue the Phillies, but considering how productive he was for the New York Yankees in 2017 and 2018, it likely would intrigue a lot of teams.

If the Phillies do ultimately decide to move Segura away from shortstop, they could find themselves in the trade market for a shortstop for the second consecutive offseason. Meanwhile, there’s no indication that the Phillies plan to shop Segura, who they acquired from the Mariners last December. Segura is owed $42.75 million through 2022, and the Phillies have a $17 million option on him for 2023.


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  1. Fleming Hill

    October 1, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    If this article is true and not fake news, this front office needs cleaned out ASAP!

    First they are putting Kingery on a level above the entire major league talent.( Does he wear a “S” on his chest). I am sorry his numbers dont add up to being any better than any other starter on this team, including Franco! In fact his numbers are right in line with Franco, Hoskins, and Harper!

    Secondly, if Segura doesnt play shortstop shouldn’t that be his decision. Trade him if he isnt fitting into their plans. I for one believes he should be traded for his lack of effort!

    Finally, If the organization is going to move on, I pray to GOD, We fire the administration personal that have final say on personel in this organization.

    After reading this the only Phillie that is safe is Harper, Kingery is going to take everyone else’s job! His salary should be twice what Mike Trout is making. It is also amazing the Kingery is always taking a person of color position on the field with this organization. I feel it is time MLB investigate s this organization from top down!

  2. John

    October 1, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    I was very impressed by how good Kingery was at SS this year. Looked very natural.

    How about signing Moustakas, Hamels and trading for Boyd?

    CF McCutchen
    3B Moustakas
    RF Harper
    1B Hoskins
    C Realmuto
    LF Bruce
    2B Segura
    SS Kingery


  3. William S Worth

    October 1, 2019 at 8:05 pm

    how is that trade with the Seattle Mariners of Segura, Juan Nicasio and James Pazos to the Philadelphia Phillies for J.P. Crawford and Carlos Santana Working out…. Santana rebounded to have one of the best years of his career and Crawford looked like a stud at short. ugghhhh that trade is going to hurt for years.

    • Aaron Mock

      October 2, 2019 at 1:42 am

      JP Crawford hit .226 this year. No he did not look like a stud.

  4. Craig Glessner

    October 2, 2019 at 2:44 pm

    The Mariners traded Santana and Crawford only hit 226 with 7 home runs not really stud numbers. Segura doesn’t hustle all the time but still a serious upgrade from Crawford. The question is how is the team better Segura at 2nd and Kingery at short or the other way around that’s all that matters.

  5. Joseph Wallace

    October 3, 2019 at 3:50 pm

    Fire Klentak

  6. Matt

    October 4, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Getting rid of Crawford was needed. He wasn’t going to be what he was in the minors and was a downgrade from Glavis in hitting and fielding. That was made clear when he was healthy. Leave Segura at SS and put Kingery in at 2nd. Kingery doesn’t have the arm from 3rd. The front office has to stop falling in love with utility players. They need dedicated position players.

  7. Drock

    October 4, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    Idiotic moves luck this is why Phils finished in 4th place…. horrific front office moves an equally bad skipper. Until a baseball man is put in charge of this organization than we will continue to b laughing stock of league with these half ass moves

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