The Phillies should explore shopping Jean Segura for more bullpen help this offseason
In weeks leading up to the MLB lockout, the Phillies were rumored to be interested in several high level free agents, including Kris Bryant, Nick Castellanos, and Kyle Schwarber. While the team certainly has holes to fill in their lineup, the main concern still lies in the bullpen.
Yes, Corey Knebel was brought in and will likely take the closer role if no other moves are made, but it’s still possible that more bullpen help is on the way. Throughout last season and even as recent as November of this year, the Phillies were linked to Craig Kimbrel and Jean Segura would be a name that I would keep an eye on as a potential trade piece to land more bullpen help.
Jean Segura is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. Segura slashed .290/.348/.436 in 131 games, with 14 HRs, 58 RBIs, and an OPS of .784. He is set to make $14 million with the Phillies this season and has a full no-trade clause with a club option in 2023.
The full no-trade clause could make things tricky to move Segura. A no-trade clause is a part of a players contract that allows players to veto trades to certain teams. A full no-trade clause gives him the power to question or to block a trade to all 29 teams in Major League Baseball.
At 33-years old, Jean Segura will make $14 million in the 2022 season. The Phillies will likely decline his club option after next year, so there’s a chance that Segura will take his chances elsewhere, even more so with a playoff contender in the Chicago White Sox.
With all that being said and the Phillies need for bullpen help, that brings us to Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel started the 2021 season with the Chicago Cubs, and pitched well with a 0.49 ERA in 39 games, adding 23 saves.
As a member of the White Sox, he definitely struggled and had a 5.09 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with the White Sox. In the playoffs, Kimbrel appeared three times for the Sox and allowed three runs as Chicago lost to the Astros. To make things even worse, Kimbrel allowed six home runs in 27 games for the White Sox, while only allowing one home run in 39 appearances with the Cubs.
Kimbrel is however, an MLB closer. The White Sox already had one of the best closers in the game in Liam Hendricks, which put Kimbrel in an 8th inning set up role with the White Sox.
Phillies Trade Proposal:
The Phillies could package Jean Segura and Jose Alvarado with some prospects to the White Sox in return for Craig Kimbrel. With Rafael Marchan and Logan O’Hoppe being two the best prospects in the Phillies’ farm system and both catchers, it would make sense to include one of them in the package, even more so with JT Realmuto locked in long term. This proposal would basically be a 16 million dollar swap, with Segura making $14M and Alvarado making $2M.
What Happens at Second Base?
So hear me out, you swap Segura for Kimbrel, bolster the bullpen and then look at other options in the infield. The Phillies could go all in and target Trevor Story? The DH is likely coming to the National League, so Didi Gregorius could be on the bench (or included in the trade package) and the Phillies could give Bryson Stott the nod at either second base or at shortstop to start the 2022 season.
Why this wouldn’t work:
The question is if the White Sox are willing to take on additional payroll. It’s likely they are looking to do the exact opposite. Adding a 33-year old shortstop in Jean Segura would contradict getting younger and adding more prospects to their farm system.
Regardless, it’s the MLB lockout so we might as well throw around a few pipe dreams while we wait for real transactions to resume.