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?
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.
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