Manny vs. Bryce, Santana signing not a mistake, more on Phillies' trade for Jean Segura

Manny vs. Bryce, Santana signing not a mistake, more on Phillies' trade for Jean Segura

The trade is complete. The Phillies have acquired two-time All-Star shortstop Jean Segura and two relief pitchers from the Mariners for infielders Carlos Santana and J.P. Crawford (see story).

Let’s look at some of the particulars of the deal and offer a few thoughts. 

• Segura, who turns 29 in March, is signed through 2022 and owed about $60 million. The Phillies are taking on all of that money and the $9.25 million owed reliever Juan Nicasio. The Phils are also getting lefty reliever James Pazos in the deal.

The Mariners are taking on the $35 million that remains on Santana’s deal.

So the rebuilding Mariners saved about $35 million with the deal. There is value in that. 

• Once again, the Phillies used their greatest resource — money — in getting a deal done. Nicasio, who had an ERA of 6.00 last season, is clearly a salary dump, but the Phils are able to take him on (and hope he rebounds in 2019) because they really wanted Segura.

In recent years, the Phillies took on significant money in the trades that sent Cole Hamels to Texas, Jonathan Papelbon to Washington, Marlon Byrd to Cincinnati and Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers. Those deals netted the Phillies a number of prospects, some that did not pan out, but others such as Jorge Alfaro, Nick Pivetta, Nick Williams, Zach Eflin and Jerad Eickhoff who have made varying contributions and still have upside.

• According to sources, the Phillies still hope to sign free agent Manny Machado and play him at third base. Should the Phils fail to sign Machado, they could look to someone like Mike Moustakas on a short-term deal at third before making a run at Nolan Arenado in July or next winter when he becomes a free agent. Maikel Franco is still with the club and there’s always the chance he could stay at third base, but the team has looked to trade him in the past and this seems like the time to make it happen. The Padres are a good fit.

• Trading Santana was a big offseason objective for the Phils because it allows Rhys Hoskins to get back to his natural position of first base. With Hoskins gone, who plays the outfield? Right now, it looks like Roman Quinn in center flanked by Nick Williams and Odubel Herrera, but there is still a chance the Phils could make a play for Bryce Harper, depending on how things shake out with Machado. The gut feel here is that the Phils have prioritized Machado because they like the idea of having him and Segura on the left side of their infield.

• There’s a lot of talk that GM Matt Klentak made a mistake in signing Santana and moving Hoskins to left field last year. This might be semantics, but mistake doesn’t seem like the right word to this observer. Klentak took a gamble that he could add some offense (power and on-base percentage) to his lineup by signing Santana and that necessitated taking a chance on Hoskins in left field. Well, Hoskins struggled defensively and Santana hit .229. That doesn’t mean Klentak’s experiment was a mistake; it means it just didn’t work. Pat Gillick used to say you can’t be afraid to take chances. Klentak took one. It didn’t pan out. Now, he’s done a pretty good job getting out of it quickly. He improved his offense (a lot) and defense at shortstop in the process and got a key player (Hoskins) back in his comfort zone. Good work.

By the way, if Santana had two more hits a month, he would have hit .250. One of the problems was he was paid like a star and is really a complementary player, sort of like Jayson Werth was on the great Phillies teams, minus the studs. But Santana is still a pretty good player and hats off to him for playing hard — and looking good at third base — until the end of the 2018 season while some of his mates shut it down as the losses piled up.

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Phillies Talk podcast: Shane Victorino joins to talk some ball


Phillies Talk podcast: Shane Victorino joins to talk some ball

A special guest joined the Phillies Talk podcast Friday: former Phillies All-Star and World Series champion Shane Victorino.

• Victorino on the sports shutdown

• His love of Philly, the fans and how they embraced him

• Why Philly made such a difference in his life

• The confidence that Charlie Manuel and Gene Lamont gave him

• Shane on his famous walk-off outfield assist

• Victorino's 40-yard dash vs. Troy Polamalu

• Victorino on Bryce Harper

• His message to Phillies fans

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Andrew McCutchen taking his hacks, taking virus seriously and getting a glimpse of retired life

Andrew McCutchen taking his hacks, taking virus seriously and getting a glimpse of retired life

Around 11 a.m. Thursday, Andrew McCutchen wanted to go take some hacks. He's not getting work in seven days a week like he was during spring training — no sense in overdoing it right now — but is still working out five times a week and those are the only five times he leaves the house. 

McCutchen is in Florida with his wife Maria and their two young sons. The family is taking the stay-at-home guidelines seriously. He's the only one leaving the house and he keeps hand sanitizer, gloves and a mask on him. 

"I've taken it as seriously as possible," McCutchen said during a phone conversation Thursday.

"Realizing I have a family back home so I don't want to jeopardize their lives at all because this thing is serious. It's taking all the measures and steps and caution that I can when I'm away for a couple hours. That's kind of where I am. It's around, it's real and you've got to treat it that way."

It, of course, is coronavirus, which has practically shut down the entire country and has left each pro sports league's 2020 schedule in jeopardy. 

This has been a humbling experience for millions upon millions of people. We are all largely in the same boat — you, me, Bryce Harper, LeBron. We all have to stay in the house, we're all bored at times, stir crazy at times, depressed at times, wondering when this will pass.

MLB last week worked out key issues pertaining to 2020 pay and service time in the event of a canceled season. With those details finalized, there isn't a ton of baseball talk going on between players at the moment.

"Baseball is kind of on the backburner. We're all dealing with real-life problems," McCutchen said. "There's just some things in life going on that we're putting ahead of that, putting in front of that. I'm just doing my best, as far as getting myself ready physically. But at the same time, realizing that I've got a family at home and they depend on me to be there to provide and I know there's just so many other people going through things that are much worse. 

"Baseball-wise, there's not that much to talk about, there's more to talk about with the everyday things going on and the drastic changes in the world."

As we search for any silver lining to this heartbreaking situation, one could be that it resets some of us, reminds us of what is truly important and how much the loved ones we can't see right now mean to us. 

This is a much different situation than any a professional athlete has gotten used to. In a radio interview with Mike Missanelli Thursday, Phillies manager Joe Girardi remarked that "it was like going from winter to winter." 

McCutchen feels things slowing down in his mind and in his world. He's getting a lot of family time with Maria, their two-year-old son Steel and three-month-old son Armani. They're thinking of ways to keep Steel active and everyone sane during a period when outdoor activity has been drastically limited.

"I realized I'm really able to slow down and use my brain a little more than I guess I have," McCutchen said. "Just thinking about things to do with my son around the house, there's so many things to do. Like yesterday, we had chalk and were like drawing on the driveway. Just doing little things like that every day has been super helpful. But at the same time, it's kinda fun because we're able to relive our childhood and just think about that simplified life we used to have."

It's also giving McCutchen, 33, a glimpse of life after baseball.

"It kinda speeds up a little bit on you when you think about this moment," he said. "You think about how when you're retired one day how life's gonna be, it's essentially kind of what it's like. It kinda isn't, but you're not playing at all, I can kinda look at it like that. I'm not playing, I haven't played in a full year. I'm just trying to think of how it would be when I'm not playing, when I'm actually done playing. 

"It makes me realize to not take anything for granted, not take the game for granted, enjoy the game as much as you possibly can. Don't take it too seriously. The game is important but realize that you're playing a game. Only way you can play is by having fun. Just keep doing that. This thing doesn't last forever. I just miss being out there on the field with my teammates, playing in front of the fans, the roar of the crowd, thinking of all those things that you've experienced and knowing that when we're back, whenever that is, who knows when that will feel normal again because of all of this. Or when will it be? Not trying to take anything for granted. Just being grateful and thankful for the opportunities and your past in this game."

If/when the 2020 MLB season does begin, McCutchen will be ready. The Phillies won't have to play a month without him like they would have if the season began on March 26. McCutchen, who tore his ACL last June, says this is the longest he's ever gone without playing a game since he picked up a bat at five years old.

"Now I know, whenever the time comes and we're playing again, I'll be ready to go," he said. "I'm really gonna be itching to get out on the field and play but right now I just need to take care of business and take advantage of this time."

He didn't have a preference for who was set to lead off in his absence.

"I guess I didn't pay much attention to who I wanted to lead off because I'm the leadoff guy," McCutchen said. "I think we have a few guys who can do it. There's Adam Haseley of course, I think Roman Quinn was showing some spark. I think a lot of people were looking at J.T. (Realmuto) as well because he can get on base a lot and can do a lot there in the leadoff spot, but I think it'd be a little harder for him being a catcher. 

"We had a handful of guys who could do it but I guess I don't have to worry about that anymore because I'll be leading off."

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