The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers, sending second baseman Aaron Hill, starting pitcher Chase Anderson and infield prospect Isan Diaz to the Brewers in exchange for shortstop Jean Segura and pitcher Tyler Wagner.
This trade comes the day after second baseman Howie Kendrick re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on a two-year $20 million dollar deal. The Diamondbacks were looking to upgrade their team overall this offseason, and boosting their offense from their middle infield was definitely on their to-do list.
Arizona has been looking for a trade partner who would be willing to take Aaron Hill off their hands for a long time. In the final season of his contract, Hill was set to make $12 million, which is too much to pay a struggling 33 year-old infielder. Hill only played 116 games last season and batted .230 with six home runs and 39 RBI.
To put it mildly, there was just not a place on this team for Hill anymore with Chris Owings already taking over at second for him added on with the emergence of both Brandon Drury and Jake Lamb in the infield; it was time for Hill and the Diamondbacks to part ways.
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Anderson didn’t have the best season last year with Arizona. He started off strong but was never able to get his form back after his injury midseason. He finished the year with a record of 6-6 and an ERA of 4.30 in 27 starts. With the additions of both Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, the Diamondbacks have quite a bit of depth in starting pitching now.
The rotation figures to include Patrick Corbin, Rubby De La Rosa and Robbie Ray alongside Greinke and Miller. They also have guys like Josh Collmenter, who will likely be in the bullpen but who can make a spot start if needed, Archie Bradley, who is trying to recover from a disappointing season last year, Zack Godley, who was great when he got his opportunity, and top pitching prospect Braden Shipley is also a part of that depth. This depth in pitching basically made Anderson expendable and not very difficult to deal.
Diaz is a bit of a head-scratcher, however. According to Baseball America, Diaz was ranked as the Diamondbacks’ number nine overall prospect in the organization. This will, of course, have many continuing to wonder why Arizona is trading away its top prospects. Last season, they traded away their first round draft pick, Touki Toussaint, to Atlanta as part of a salary dump and this offseason, the Diamondbacks traded away both their top pitching prospect, Aaron Blair, and number one organizational prospect, shortstop Dansby Swanson, to Atlanta as part of the Shelby Miller deal.
The main focus of this deal is Segura, who will be an offensive upgrade over what the Diamondbacks currently have in their middle infield. Segura, 25, struggled a bit last season, batting .257 with six home runs and 50 RBI. These numbers were better than the numbers Nick Ahmed and Chris Owings had last year. Ahmed batted just .226 and Owings just .227.
Ahmed surprisingly had a little more pop than Segura, hitting nine home runs. But overall, Segura is an upgrade. In 2013, Segura was an All-Star and his numbers were far better. He hit .294 that year with 12 home runs and 49 RBI. He also added 20 doubles, 10 triples and 44 stolen bases.
The question is where will Segura be playing? What first comes to mind is that Segura will try to make the switch to second base, a position he has never played in the major leagues, because Ahmed’s defense is just too good for him not to start at shortstop. There is also the possibility that Segura could start at shortstop over Ahmed, allowing Owings to try to right the ship at second as he is now fully recovered from the shoulder injury he was dealing with all last season.
The Diamondbacks will have a wide-open competition in their infield during this year’s spring training. It seems as though every position, besides first base obviously, is up for grabs. It will be interesting to see who will make the squad and see who will start at what positions. One thing is for sure, manager Chip Hale and his staff will have a lot of decisions to make.