Phillies

Phillies trade rumors: Phillies aim for Manny Machado and Jean Segura in the same infield

usa_jean_segura_manny_machado.jpg
USA Today Images

Phillies trade rumors: Phillies aim for Manny Machado and Jean Segura in the same infield

The Phillies could be headed for a complete overhaul of the left side of their infield.

The team is interested in acquiring shortstop Jean Segura from the Seattle Mariners, according to a baseball source.

So how does that impact the Phillies' desire to sign free agent Manny Machado?

It doesn't.

According to a source, the Phillies remain committed to pursuing Machado with the hope of playing him at third base should they be able to land Segura. Machado has played both third base and shortstop in his career. Though he enjoys playing shortstop and has said he'd like to stay there, he is a much better third baseman, elite by some standards.

Can the Phillies sell Machado on this idea? Time will tell. The winter meetings begin next weekend in Las Vegas and industry activity is expected to ramp up as they approach. Patrick Corbin, one of the top pitchers on the free-agent market, could make a decision on where he'll sign in the coming days. The Phillies, along with the New York Yankees and Washington Nationals, are very much in the hunt for his services. The Phils hosted Corbin at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday.

Already in recent days, there has been an uptick in action, especially in the National League East. The Atlanta Braves signed third baseman Josh Donaldson and the New York Mets are on the verge of acquiring all-star second baseman Robinson Cano and dazzling young closer Edwin Diaz from the rebuilding Mariners.

The Phillies are keenly aware of the Mariners' current tack. They had trade discussions with the Mariners about pitcher James Paxton before he was dealt to the Yankees earlier in the offseason and, according to sources who have confirmed multiple reports, engaged the Mariners about the possibility of acquiring Segura and Diaz in a package deal before Seattle turned its focus to sending Cano and Diaz to the Mets.

The Phillies would still like to acquire Segura, possibly in a package that would include Carlos Santana as well as the young talent that Seattle seeks.

Segura, who turns 29 in March, is signed through 2022 and owed $60 million. He is an excellent hitter — he hit .308 with an .803 OPS over the last three seasons — and an above-average defender. Segura has a no-trade clause but would likely waive it to escape a rebuild.

Even if the Phillies don't land Segura, they would still pursue Machado with the possibility of playing him at shortstop before an eventual move to third base.

Machado is not the only high-profile free agent that the Phils are pursuing. They also maintain interest in outfielder Bryce Harper and their pursuit of the left-hander Corbin is clear. Adding a top lefty to the bullpen is another offseason goal and free agents Zach Britton and Andrew Miller remain targets.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies

Phillies continue to invent ways to lose to teams they should dominate

Phillies continue to invent ways to lose to teams they should dominate

Needing to capitalize on every game against a bad team in a 60-game season, the Phillies are off to a 1-3 start against the Marlins and Orioles. They have two more games with the Orioles Wednesday and Thursday, then seven straight games against the Marlins from Sept. 10-14 in Miami.

The Phillies have dug themselves a hole in which even going 6-3 in those remaining games against two of baseball's least talented teams would result in them finishing just 7-6 against the Marlins and Orioles. NL East and AL East teams entered this season knowing they'd need to clean up on Miami and Baltimore given the strength of the other eight teams, ranging from World Series contenders like the Yankees to clubs in the 85-win range like the Phillies, Mets and Blue Jays.

The Marlins and Orioles have just been better than the Phillies pitchers they're facing. It's the biggest reason why the Phils continue to struggle against bad teams. Do they have better players? Of course. But the gap in talent shrinks when you're forced to use some of your least reliable players (e.g. relievers) every night. You need your bullpen every night. You can't hide it. The Phillies continue to lose these games in the middle innings.

In the four games against the Fish and O's, Phillies starting pitchers have a 5.14 ERA. The bullpen has a 9.00 ERA. The Phillies' offense has averaged 6.0 runs, homered eight times and hit .246/.355/.493 in those four games. It's not at all on the offense, which last season averaged more than 5.5 runs per game against the Marlins and lost the series. The Phillies have already lost games this season when scoring six and nine runs. Even the two times the Phils scored double-digit runs, they had to sweat it out a bit, allowing seven and eight.

That late-season seven-game series in Miami will be another challenge. Because of the postponements, the Phillies will end up playing seven of the 10 games against the Marlins on the road, even if they'll spend a few as the home team in a road park. That seven-game series is smack-dab in the middle of a stretch when the Phillies play 33 games in 29 days. Some of these guys will be running on fumes. Think of how frequently Hector Neris will have to appear in games for the Phillies to hold on to victories.

The Phillies went 33-29 last season against teams under .500. That's OK but not good enough and certainly not an indicator of a contending team. The Marlins and Orioles are actually both over .500 right now, as is every team the Phillies have faced so far. 

One-fifth of the Phillies' season is complete and they are 5-7. You simply need to play .500 baseball to make the playoffs this season. The top two teams in each division, plus the teams with the next two best records in each league make the postseason in this year's 16-team field. Right now, the final team in the NL would be the Brewers at 7-8. The final AL team would be the Orioles at 8-7.

Subscribe and rate the Phillies Talk podcast:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19 / YouTube

 

More on the Phillies

Joe Girardi after sloppy Phillies’ loss: 'In a lot of ways, we gave it away'

Joe Girardi after sloppy Phillies’ loss: 'In a lot of ways, we gave it away'

There were times Tuesday night when the Phillies produced in the clutch.

And there were times when they tripped all over themselves and looked like the Keystone Kops.

In the end, the Phillies could not play over their sloppiness. They played poorly in the field in the late innings and, of course, their punching-bag bullpen (10.19 ERA) coughed it up once again. The result was the craziest and most demoralizing loss of the Joe Girardi era, a 10-9 defeat at the hands of the Baltimore Orioles in 10 innings at Citizens Bank Park.

“We kept coming back but weren’t able to close out the deal,” Girardi said afterward. “We had our chances. We made some mistakes that really cost us. I thought our guys did a great job offensively battling back. Unfortunately, we were one hit short. It’s just frustrating. That’s a game that I thought in a lot of ways, we gave it away.”

Let’s count the ways that the Phillies gave it away.

Starting pitcher Zack Wheeler could not protect a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning.

Reliever Tommy Hunter came into a tie game in the seventh and allowed three hits and two runs to the first three batters.

The Phillies took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning on a pair of homers by Bryce Harper (two-run shot) and Segura (solo shot).

That was clutch.

Hector Neris was called on to close out the one-run lead in the top of the ninth, but he couldn’t do it. He allowed the tying run then was charged with two more when third baseman Segura tripped over the pitcher’s mound while tracking a pop up that would have been the third out.

No problem. Didi Gregorius tied the game at 8-8 with a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth. The Phillies still had life despite Neris' blown save.

Under MLB’s new COVID protocols, both teams started the 10thinning with a runner on second base.

The Orioles scored quickly when Austin Hays — and we’re not making this up — stroked a leadoff, two-run, inside-the-park homer. Phillies centerfielder Roman Quinn tried to make a charging, diving catch on the ball. He missed it and it rolled to the warning track as Hays circled the bases.

The Phils got one back in the bottom of the 10th, but left two men in scoring position.

Not enough.

Painful loss.

Sloppy loss.

The plays involving Segura and Quinn led to four runs.

Segura called off first baseman Rhys Hoskins on Pedro Severino’s pop up in the middle of the infield. It should have been Hoskins’ ball.

“I think that’s probably the inexperience of Jean at third,” Girardi said. “He’s used to being at shortstop and taking charge. It hurt us tonight.

“Hector was a little off. I know he’s frustrated about it. But through all that, we still had a chance. We blew a pop up.”

Hoskins called for the ball. In retrospect, he said he believed he should have yelled louder.

“I heard something from my right and typically those guys take priority over the first baseman,” Hoskins said. “I just need to be louder. I probably called it a little too early.”

In the 10th, Quinn should have conceded the hit to Hays and played the ball on one hop.

“The effort is great,” Girardi said. “But it turns into two runs where you have a chance to only give up one. That’s kind of frustrating.”

Deolis Guerra gave up the inside-the-parker.

Harper witnessed the ball get by Quinn from right field.

“You love the hustle,” Harper said. “You love the effort. You never want to take that away from Q because he plays a great centerfield. But we have to be a little bit smarter. I had to learn that as well when I was playing right field coming up. I’d wanted to get every ball for my pitchers. But that’s a spot, with a guy on second, where you have to keep the ball in front of you and hopefully keep that double play in order so they hopefully score just one run.

“Coulda, woulda, shoulda and we might have been tied going into the 11th. Like I said, I love the effort from Q. But that’s definitely a ball we’ve got to keep in front and I think he knows that.”

Twelve games — or 20 percent — into the 60-game sprint, the Phillies are 5-7.

They have two more with the Orioles in this series. The O’s are 8-7 after losing 108 games last season.

“We’ve got to win games,” Harper said. “This is win or go home, pretty much. With a 60-game schedule, we can’t make mistakes. We’ve got to count on the guys we know we can count on. It’s tough to go into the inning with a lead and lose a ballgame.”

Subscribe and rate the Phillies Talk podcast:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19 / YouTube

 

More on the Phillies