The Opener: Marlins, Mariners, Middle Infield

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With the new year fast approaching, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on in baseball throughout today:

1. Does Segura’s signing signal more moves for Miami?

The Marlins have long been considered a likely entrant in the trade market this offseason, with plenty of holes in the lineup and a deep rotation to trade. That speculation will surely increase with the signing of the contract last night. Jean Segura to a two-year, $17 million contract. While Segura looks like a good bet to improve Miami’s offense, he’s a curious positional position for a team that already has Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Miguel Rojas in the middle. Barring a change in position on the part of Segura, it seems likely that Rojas will join his fieldmate Joey Wendle in the commercial block. Rojas hasn’t hit much in 2022 (72 OPS+), but he could be attractive to teams looking for help as a veteran option thanks to his strong defensive metrics last season that made him a finalist for the Gold Glove award. The Red Sox are known to have already checked Rojas in this offseason, although the Marlins rejected Boston’s advances at the time. It’s possible Miami’s tone will change with the Segura takeover, however, mainly because the sides have also discussed Wendle in trade talks. Speculatively speaking, the White Sox could also make sense as a trading partner for one of Miami’s infielders, given their hole at second base, while it’s possible the Angels could add a stronger glove to their shortstop mix than the current ones. main options of Luis Rengifo and Gio Urshela.

2. Will the Mariners add a bat?

At the start of this offseason, there was something of a stalemate in Seattle’s outfield, which was only made worse by the acquisition of Teoscar Hernandez of the Blue Jays. Since then, however, Mariners have embarked Kyle Lewis and Jesse Winker in separate deals, leaving them in a position where it could invite them to add another bat to their outfield/DH mix. How things are, Jarred Kelenic, Dylan Mooreand Cooper Hummel seem to be the main internal options set to mix and match between left field and DH, and the addition of another bat could solidify that mix considerably. That could come through free agency like Jurickson Profar remains on the market as a day-to-day option, while products such as david peralta and AJ Pollock can be added as more complementary options. It would come as no surprise, however, if the Mariners decided to tap into the trade market, given the shrinking market for starting pitchers and Seattle’s willingness to trade one of the Chris Flexen or Marco Gonzalez to improve other areas on the list. If they choose to go that route, striking a deal with the Cardinals or Orioles could make some sense, as both teams have a glut of position player talent and could benefit from the addition of an arm like Flexen or Gonzales.

3. Where is the domestic market now that Segura is off the board?

With Segura joining the Marlins, the home market lost their best remaining bat. There are still plenty of teams in need of an infielder, even beyond the aforementioned Red Sox, White Sox, and Angels. The Dodgers, Braves and Twins could all add an infielder after losing their starting shortstops to free agency earlier this offseason, while the Giants and Tigers could also upgrade their inside mixes. elvis android, Josh Harrisonand Evan Longoria represent the best remaining options in the infield, although players like Matt Duffy, Brian Andersonand Cesar Hernandez it may also be worth taking a look at as possible candidates for recovery. Shifting focus to the commercial market, in addition to Miami, Baltimore could be another club to watch as they could look to trade an infielder like Jorge Mateo or Ramón Urias to make room for your inbound inner prospects, such as Joey Ortizand it is possible that the Mets will try to negotiate Eduardo Escobar if the Carlos Correa business passes the finish line.

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