Despite all the heavy preparation for Thanksgiving, there was still room on the hot stove Wednesday for a major baseball trade. The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired pitcher Taijuan Walker and shortstop Ketel Marte from the Seattle Mariners for shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Mitch Haniger, and pitcher Zac Curtis.
Segura rejuvenated his career in 2016, hitting .319/.368/.499 with 20 home runs, 41 doubles, 33 steals, 102 runs scored, and a league-leading 203 hits for the Diamondbacks, who acquired him from the Brewers in January. Segura in 2014 and 2015 combined hit just .252/.285/.331.
Segura, who turns 27 in March, is eligible for salary arbitration this winter and has two years before free agency.
Arizona was able to parlay that one year of Segura — plus giving up Haniger and Curtis — into Walker, who will step into a starting rotation that posted a 5.19 ERA, last in the National League; and Marte, who is four years younger than Segura and won’t be eligible for arbitration until 2019.
Walker, a supplemental first-round pick by the Mariners in 2010, had a 4.21 ERA in 25 starts for Seattle in 2016, with 119 strikeouts and 37 walks in 134⅓ innings. He is eligible for salary arbitration this winter and still has four seasons until free agency.
Marte, now 23, hit .259/.287/.323 in 119 games for the Mariners in 2016, and has hit .267/.309/.349 with 35 doubles and 19 stolen bases in parts of two major league seasons, totaling 176 games.
This is the first trade for new Arizona general manager Mike Hazen, who was hired from the Boston Red Sox in October, taking over a franchise with three straight losing seasons. But despite averaging 91 losses the last three years, the Diamondbacks have one of the most compelling rosters in MLB, led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Zack Greinke, and others.
Haniger, who turns 26 in December, made his major league debut in 2016 for Arizona, hitting .229/.309/.404 in 34 games. He had a great year in the minors, hitting .321/.419/.581 with 25 home runs and 34 doubles in 129 games between Double-A Mobile and Triple-A Reno.
Curtis, 24, also made his major league debut in 2016, pitching 21 games in relief for the Diamondbacks, posting a 6.75 ERA with more walks (13) than strikeouts (10). The left-hander, a sixth-round pick in 2014 by Arizona, has a 1.95 minor league ERA in three seasons, with 169 strikeouts and 35 walks in 111 innings.