Looking at the trade market for Brewers shortstop Jean Segura

The Brewers are clear-cut sellers this year. Could their shortstop be dealt by this year's deadline?

Trades involving young, cost-controlled, starting-quality middle infielders do not happen very often. Shortstop and second base are premium positions in the MLB and teams, unsurprisingly, tend to be unwilling to part with players who can competently play said positions.

Over the last few years, there have been a fair number of trades involving fringe starters -- guys like Tommy La Stella, Darwin Barney, Didi Gregorious -- but rarely bona fide starters. Not necessarily superstars. Just guys you know will be able to hold down the position.

Jean Segura is one of those guys who seems pretty certain to be a quality player at shortstop for a while. And with the Brewers nowhere close to contention, it's possible Segura becomes a rarity in the trade world.

Segura, just 25 years old, had been hitting well this season with a .289/.322/.400 batting line up until the middle of June. Unfortunately, he has slumped hard the past two weeks, reaching base eight times in 61 plate appearances. For his career, he's a .266/.305/.365 hitter with the ability to steal 30+ bags in a given year. Defensively, you'll get different opinions from different people but he in general seems to be at least an average shortstop.

Also important: Segura has three years of team control after 2015. A buying team doesn't risk losing him immediate

But what is Segura worth if the Brewers decide to trade him? There's not much recent history to go on, as far as these trades go. Looking over the past few years, only two really stand out as possible comparisons.

The first is the Dodgers trading Dee Gordon to the Marlins this past off-season. But Gordon wasn't the only player involved: The Dodgers dealt him along with Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas for Austin Barnes, Chris Hatcher, Andrew Heaney and Enrique Hernandez. The Dodgers also paid all of Dan Haren's salary.

Gordon is a decent comp for Segura. He's taken off in a big way last year, but in 2014 hit .289/.326/.378 -- very similar numbers to what Segura had this year before his recent slump. Importantly, though, Gordon has even more speed, leading the league with 68 stolen bags last year.

The good news for the Brewers is the Dodgers made a killing in that trade. Heaney, a left-handed pitcher, was a top-50 prospect three years running while Barnes has shown great ability to get on base with some pop as a catcher/second base prospect. Hernandez is also a young player who can slot in as a good utility guy (think Luis Sardinas a bit) and Hatcher can help in the bullpen.

Segura isn't looking quite as good as Gordon was at that point, though, and the Brewers don't have a Dan Haren they could throw in for free. Haren had been coming off a nice year, and getting his contract for 2015 paid off is pretty great. The Brewers could maybe do something similar with Matt Garza, but they wouldn't pick up that much money if anything. Kyle Lohse might end up reducing the value of the Brewers return if they tried to include him.

The only other trade that looks like a decent comp is when the Red Sox dealt unproven buy highly-talented shortstop Jose Iglesias for Jake Peavy as part of a three-team trade. The issue here is that the Red Sox were clearly the buyers in this situation and Iglesias was looked at as more of a prospect at that point. Thus, it's hard to draw many comparisons between this and a possible Jean Segura deal.

The other issue for the Brewers is the problem that there isn't a glut of contenders with a desperate need to trade for a shortstop. If Jean Segura were an obvious upgrade, sure, but he's not a difference maker like Troy Tulowitzki would be. Here's my try at breaking it down:

Not in contention enough to buy, regardless of shortstop situation:

Athletics, White Sox, Phillies, Marlins, Rockies

Have a young shortstop or soon-to-be-called-up shortstop prospect already:

Red Sox, Astros, Tigers, Mariners, Dodgers, Cubs, Pirates, Indians, Diamondbacks

Segura not a clear upgrade:

Royals, Rays, Cardinals, Nationals, Giants, Braves, Angels

Starter probably entrenched due to contract:

Rangers, Blue Jays

That leaves six teams that potentially could be looking for a long-term option at shortstop. Not all of them might be interested in Segura, though.

Twins: Eduardo Nunez is playing pretty well this year for them, plus they're a team on the rise. They wouldn't want to trade away prospects, not at this point.

Reds: In-division trades are expensive, and the Reds would be realistic about their chances of making it past the Cardinals/Cubs/Pirates in the central. They have an outside shot at a Wild Card, but they won't trade pieces they can use to build for the future. Also, Zack Cozart isn't a terrible option.

Orioles: JJ Hardy could maybe be put into section above where Segura isn't a clear upgrade. Or the entrenched due to contract. He's still good defensively, and can hold his own at the plate for a shortstop yet. No need for Baltimore to buy here.

With that, the three most likely trade options are the Mets, Yankees and Padres.

For the Yankees, Didi Gregorious is young but questionable. His defense is supposed to be his calling card, but even that has been called into question a bit this year. Gregorious has never really been expected to hit well, so if his defense isn't closer to Andrelton Simmons levels, the Yankees could look for a different heir to Derek Jeter's throne.

The Mets are back to Ruben Tejada after moving Wilmer Flores to second base. Ruben Tejada is not very good. The Mets offense is very, very bad and unless they do something drastic they aren't going to have the hitting to make the playoffs. Here's the thing, though: Segura alone isn't going to help that. Segura has/should have a nice bat for a shortstop. However, he's not capable of lifting an offense on his own. The fact New York could use him for a few years could make him desirable, but not crucial.

The Padres might be the most likely destination. They've been desperate for a shortstop since before the season began and were even rumored to be looking into Brewers utlity-man/prospect Luis Sardinas. Clint Barmes has been better than expected, but the combo of him and Alexi Amarista is not great for a team looking to make a huge push after acquiring guys like Matt Kemp and Justin Upton. The Padres are five games under .500 right now, but will certainly want to make a big push yet this year.

What could the Brewers get for Segura from the Padres? It's hard to tell. The Padres system is gutted and their top prospects are outfielders, which is tricky given the Brewers seem to be OK in that category for the most part. That said, based on the Gordon trade and the weakness of the Padres system right now it seems Milwaukee would be gunning for one of their top-three prospects at the very least.

Honestly, it's really difficult to project what the Brewers might get in return for Segura. It really depends on what team's think of him. Is Segura looked at as the player he looked like before this latest slump? The same Segura as 2013? That kind of player has potentially a lot of value with three years of team control. Or is Segura closer to 2014 and the past few weeks? That Segura doesn't figure to hold a lot of interest at the moment.

That's why, in the end, I don't think Segura gets traded at this year's deadline. Tom Haudricourt says the team would move him for the right price, but that price figures to be higher than most teams would be willing to pay. It might be more valuable to the Brewers to wait until the off-season, or a year+ down the line and hope Segura hits well enough to show his worth.

The Brewers have time on Segura. Orlando Arcia isn't knocking down the door just yet. If they can't get the deal they want, there's absolutely no need to deal Segura for the sake of it. Based on how things have played out so far, there might not be a buyer willing to pay the price for him just yet.

What We Learned: Brewers break even in June

The Brewers finished the month of June with a .500 record. We discuss that and more in today's What We Learned.

With the Brewers victory yesterday, they accomplished something they hadn't done since June of last year: Finish a month without a losing record. That streak came to an end yesterday, as their win gave the Brewers a record of 14-14 in June, breaking a streak of five straight losing months. It's a sign of progress for the team that has been struggling to find any consistency all year.

What does this mean for the Brewers? Should it change anything for the team's plans? Not really. Most of us knew that the team would play better at some point, as the talent on the roster is too good for them to be playing as badly as they are. However, their situation isn't any better than before. They're still 17 games under .500, and far out of the playoff chase. They should still be sellers at the trade deadline. It's just a nice note to consider in what has been a difficult season.

Yesterday's Results

Brewers 4, Phillies 3

The Brewers got a quick 2-0 lead off of Phillies starter Cole Hamels last night, but Hamels shut the Brewers down after that and pitched seven innings total. Meanwhile, the Phillies took advantage of some mistakes from the Brewers and built a 3-2 lead. However, the Phillies would give it up in the eighth inning, as Aramis Ramirez and Adam Lind each drove in runs. The Brewers bullpen had to work around some baserunnners in the last two innings, but kept the Phillies off the board to secure the 4-3 win.

Brewers News & Notes
Minor League Update
Team Level Record Yesterday Today
Colorado Springs Sky Sox AAA 31-45 Colorado Springs 9, Nashville 2 Colorado Springs @ Nashville
Biloxi Shuckers AA 46-27 OFF Mississippi @ Biloxi
Brevard County Manatees A+ 31-43 Bradenton 12, Brevard County 6 Brevard County @ Dunedin
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers A 25-51 Cedar Rapids 3, Wisconsin 2 Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin
DSL Brewers R 9-17 DSL Marlins 10, DSL Brewers 6 DSL Marlins @ DSL Brewers
Helena Brewers R 4-8 Helena 12, Billings 5 Billings @ Helena
AZL Brewers R 4-5 AZL Athletics 4, AZL Brewers 2 AZL Dodgers @ AZL Brewers

News & Notes

NL Central Update
Team W L
Cardinals 51 25
Pirates 43 33
Cubs 40 35
Reds 35 41
Brewers 31 48

Today's Division Games

  • Twins (Trevor May) @ Reds (Johnny Cueto) - 11:35 am
  • Pirates (AJ Burnett) @ Tigers (Alfredo Simon) - 6:08 pm
  • Cubs (Jon Lester) @ Mets (Bartolo Colon) - 6:10 pm
  • White Sox (Jose Quintana) @ Cardinals (John Lackey) - 7:15 pm
Around Baseball

Roster News

Other Notes

Today's Action

The Brewers play game three of their series against the Phillies tonight. It will be Kyle Lohse facing Aaron Harang in tonight's starting pitcher matchup. First pitch is at 6:05 pm.

Ramirez leads Crew’s comeback over Phils

The Brewers found an interesting way to win, 4-3, Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Or it could be said the Phillies found an interesting way to lose.

Crew takes advantage of Phils’ meltdown in 8th

The Phillies found a unique way to lose, 4-3, Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park, and the Brewers could not have been happier about it.

For Lind, less is more when it comes to hitting

His simple swing is only the most visible part of Brewers first baseman Adam Lind's "less is more" approach to hitting. While other players immerse themselves in video, statistics and scouting reports, Lind subscribes to "see it and hit it."

For Lind, less is more when it comes to hitting

His simple swing is only the most visible part of Brewers first baseman Adam Lind's "less is more" approach to hitting. While other players immerse themselves in video, statistics and scouting reports, Lind subscribes to "see it and hit it."

Wild win over Phils nets Brewers .500 June

The Brewers still have not played a month of winning baseball since June 2014, when an 18-10 month propelled them into July with 51 victories, tied for most in Major League Baseball. The franchise's long slide since then has been well documented, but a wild, 4-3 win over the Phillies on Tuesday night offered something of a reprieve.

Ramirez leads Crew’s comeback over Phils

The Brewers found an interesting way to win, 4-3, Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Or it could be said the Phillies found an interesting way to lose.

Veterans Lohse, Harang to square off in Philly

Two veteran right-handers who endured forgettable Junes will look to reset on July 1, as the Phillies' Aaron Harang and Brewers' Kyle Lohse will start Wednesday's third game of a four-game series in Philadelphia.

Brewers’ bats come alive to down Phillies

For the Brewers Monday, the sixth inning was just a better version of the first five. After recording at least one hit in each of the first five innings, the Brewers kept swinging in the sixth, starting off the inning with six straight hits, scoring three runs and seizing the lead. Milwaukee never looked back from that point, defeating the Phillies, 7-4.