The Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks celebrated Thanksgiving with a five-player trade: Seattle sent pitcher Taijuan Walker and infielder Ketel Marte to Arizona in exchange for infielder Jean Segura, outfielder Mitch Haniger, and left-handed pitcher Zac Curtis.
Haniger and Curtis are the two rookies here and write-ups follow below, but everyone in the trade is young and I want to weigh in on each one.
Taijuan Walker, RHP: I've seen commentary from Mariners fans along "good riddance" lines; some folks are unhappy that Walker hasn't turned into Bob Gibson or Roger Clemens yet. But from my point of view, we're looking at a very talented 24-year-old with two seasons under his belt who has been an average pitcher so far but continues to flash dominance. There's nothing wrong with trading him if you get something good in return, but he should not be dismissed as a disappointment yet.
Jean Segura, 2B-SS: Segura is 26 and his '16 season looks like a breakout: he hit .333/.380/.521, much better than the .246/.289/.326 and .257/.281/.336 slash lines he posted in '14 and '15. Perhaps the Diamondbacks are selling high here, however Segura did hit .294/.329/.423 as a rookie in 2013 and was a very effective hitter in the minors. Although his '16 season may be at the peak of expectation, that doesn't mean it was a total fluke and he could very well remain an above-average hitter for a long time.
Ketel Marte, INF: The 23-year-old Marte had a strong MLB debut in 2015, hitting .283/.351/.402, but slumped to .259/.287/.323 in '16. That parallels what happened with Segura a couple of years ago, and while Marte is not going to develop Segura-type power, he occupies a good spot on the age curve and has some MLB success on his record already. My guess is that he ends up as an above-average player.
Zac Curtis, LHP: Curtis was a sixth round pick in 2014 from Middle Tennessee State University. He reached the majors in two years, dominating the minors with a 1.95 ERA over 111 innings with a 169/33 K/BB and just 80 hits allowed. Age 24, Curtis is a short lefty (listed 5-9, 190) and doesn't burn the radar, working his fastball at 89-92 MPH, but his slider is very good and minor league hitters could not square him up. His MLB debut was rocky due to command troubles (6.75 in 13 innings, 10/13 K/BB) but he deserves more chances in the pen.
Mitch Haniger, OF: Haniger was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the compensation round of the 2012 draft from Cal Poly. Traded to the Diamondbacks in 2014, he hit .321/.419/.581 this year between Double-A and Triple-A then contributed a .229/.309/.404 mark in 109 at-bats for Arizona. Age 25, Haniger has solid-average tools and has greatly improved his feel for hitting over the last two years. He could be a .270-.280 hitter with at least moderate power, although Seattle will be a more challenging environment than Arizona.
Overall, this is an aggressive trade that could work well for both clubs.