FOX’s Ken Rosenthal writes that a fresh start with the D-backs might do Jean Segura some good. While it’s well known that Segura played through a devastating personal tragedy in 2014 — the unexpected death of his infant son — Rosenthal notes that other issues were also likely weighing on Segura’s mind throughout his tenure with the Brewers. Namely, Segura rejected a seven-year, $40MM contract extension with an option for an eighth season attached to it in the spring of 2014, according to Rosenthal. The decision was driven in part by the fact that Andrelton Simmons, a fellow shortstop in the same service class, had recently signed a seven-year, $58MM contract extension with the Braves. Former Brewers manager Ron Roenicke tells Rosenthal that the contract situation weighed on Segura. “We talked a little about the contract,” said Roenicke. “He told me it was bothering him. After that, (he lost) his son and the rest of the year was really rough for him.” Roenicke is a Segura backer and believes he can succeed, but at this point, it’s worth noting that Segura simply hasn’t hit since June of 2013. After a torrid two-month stretch to open his first full season in Milwaukee, Segura has batted a collective .254/.287/.337 in 1540 plate appearances. Perhaps a change of scenery will do him some good, but that level of production isn’t any better than what Nick Ahmed brings to the table, and Ahmed rated as one of baseball’s premier defenders in 2015.
Here’s more from the game’s Western divisions…
- Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto tells Jim Bowden of ESPN (link) that new addition Dae-ho Lee, who signed a minor league deal with the team earlier today, will compete to be Adam Lind’s platoon partner at first base. (Jesus Montero and Gaby Sanchez are also in that mix.) Notably, Dipoto tells Bowden that Lee, who was listed at 6’4″ and 286 pounds last season in Japan, is down about 45 pounds. Stories of players being in good shape certainly abound this time of year, but size was a question among some pundits when writing about Lee. Bowden offers a scouting report based on conversations he’s had, writing that Lee has good hands at first but below average range. At the plate, he can draw walks and has power to right-center field, Bowden adds.
- “We are in the range of where we’ll end up payroll-wise,” Rangers GM Jon Daniels told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News on Wednesday. As Grant explains, that’s a somewhat diplomatic way of stating that the team doesn’t have the financial flexibility to add a notable free agent such as Dexter Fowler or Yovani Gallardo at this point. Rather, Grant lists Tim Lincecum and Gavin Floyd as a pair of names that might make more sense for the Rangers to pursue as Spring Training approaches and the team looks for added depth. “The fact is,” according to Grant, that Daniels was given a budget and told to stick to it, so barring a late change of course among ownership, the Rangers will be relatively quiet for the remainder of the offseason.
- By steadfastly refusing to exceed the $189MM luxury tax threshold, Angels owner Arte Moreno is effectively wasting the best years of Mike Trout’s career, opines ESPN’s David Schoenfield. Trout has been worth an average of nine wins above replacement per season in each of his four years at the Major League level, but the Halos have been to the playoffs just once in that time and have zero postseason wins to show for it. Enormous commitments to a declining Albert Pujols and a since-traded Josh Hamilton have left the club with little flexibility, and Anaheim’s paper-thin farm system doesn’t lend much hope for better days in the near future. The Angels finished 12th in the AL in runs scored in 2015, Schoenfield points out, and they’ll be without David Freese and could see an aging Pujols miss time due to offseason foot surgery.