The Philadelphia Phillies won’t have to ask Jean Segura twice to move away from shortstop, if that’s what they choose to do this offseason.
Matt Gelb of The Athletic says that the 29-year-old “would welcome” a move to a new position, something that Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic said the Phillies were considering earlier this offseason.
Cesar Hernandez, who has been the Phillies Opening Day starter at second base in each of the last four seasons, was non-tendered Monday. While many Phillies fans – and at least one franchise icon – would like the team to allow Scott Kingery to take over at second base, his natural position, full-time, the organization may be less married to that idea. The Phillies have uncertain futures both at third base and in center field, the two positions that Kingery played the most in 2019. Until those two positions are filled, the Phillies seem to not want to put Kingery in the box of only playing one position.
Anyways, if Segura is moved off of shortstop, second base is the most likely landing spot for him. Segura slashed .319/.368/.499 with 20 home runs, 64 RBIs, 33 stolen bases and a 5.0 fWAR in 2016 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. That season, he primarily played at second base. While defensive metrics suggest that Segura was, at best, average defensively at second base in 2016, he graded out better at second base in 2016 than he did at shortstop in 2019, when he posted -5 defensive runs saved.
Of course, if Segura moves away from shortstop, the Phillies would need someone to play there primarily. Kingery played at shortstop for a bulk of his rookie season in 2018, though again, the Phillies probably don’t want to just play him at one spot. They continue to be connected to free-agent shortstop Didi Gregorius, who previously played for new Phillies manager Joe Girardi in New York. If Gregorius isn’t signed, though, it’s unclear how the Phillies would proceed at shortstop if Segura was moved to another position.
After the Phillies acquired Segura from the Seattle Mariners, he slashed .280/.323/.420 in his first season with the Phillies. Segura was slashing .296/.346/.454 when Andrew McCutchen went down with a torn ACL on June 3. After McCutchen went down, he hit just .275 and finished season with just a .323 on-base percentage. There’s maybe not a direct link between McCutchen’s injury and Segura’s decline, though considering he was often hitting behind McCutchen in the lineup, there’s reason to think Segura could rebound in 2020 if the Phillies get a healthy McCutchen back.
MLB.com‘s Jon Morosi has previously suggested that the Phillies could consider trading Segura, though he’s still owed $42.75 million over the next three seasons, and his $17 million club option for 2023 comes with a $1 million buyout. It’s hard to tell if there would be any interest in him on the trade market. Segura also possess a full no-trade clause, and considering he’s played for four teams in the last five seasons, there’s no guarantee he would waive his no-trade clause even if the Phillies were able to work out a trade.
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