USA TODAY Sports Weekly

D’Backs like Se­gura’s po­ten­tial

- Nick Pecoro @nick­piecoro USA TO­DAY Sports

Ari­zona Di­a­mond­backs gen­eral man­ager Dave Ste­wart cited Jean Se­gura’s of­fen­sive po­ten­tial as the key part of the week­end deal from his club’s per­spec­tive, par­tic­u­larly af­ter send­ing out­fielder En­der In­cia­rte to the At­lanta Braves in the deal for start­ing pitcher Shelby Miller.

“I think we all had a lit­tle bit of dis­com­fort in where we were of­fen­sively and had been seek­ing to add a lit­tle bit more of­fense if we could,” Ste­wart told news re­porters on a con­fer­ence call.

“Jean Se­gura has been a pretty good of­fen­sive player in the past. He’s been an All-Star and is a very good de­fender. And he’s a guy we can hit in the top of the or­der if we choose to. With an op­por­tu­nity to make a move like that, we felt that we would do it.”

In ad­di­tion to Se­gura, the Di­a­mond­backs also ac­quired right-han­der Tyler Wag­ner from the Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers in ex­change for right-han­der Chase An­der­son, se­cond base­man Aaron Hill, in­field prospect Isan Diaz and cash.

Se­gura hasn’t torn the cover off the ball the past two sea­sons, hit­ting a com­bined .252 with a .615 on-base-plus-slug­ging per­cent­age (OPS), but he does have a stand­out year on his ré­sumé, hit­ting .294 with 12 homers and 44 stolen bases in 2013.

Though Ste­wart said there will be com­pe­ti­tion for play­ing time dur­ing spring train­ing, he in­ti­mated Se­gura might have the leg up to be the club’s ev­ery­day short­stop, a job held last sea­son by light-hit­ting Nick Ahmed.

But club coaches and of­fi­cials have rou­tinely re­ferred to Ahmed as ar­guably the best de­fen­sive short­stop in the Na­tional League, and his OPS was 18 points higher than Se­gura’s last sea­son.

Ste­wart also men­tioned se­cond base as a po­ten­tial land­ing spot for Se­gura but later added that he ex­pected Se­gura to get the bulk of his play­ing time at short­stop dur­ing spring train­ing.

The deal also gives Ari­zona the in­field depth to po­ten­tially make an­other deal, a pos­si­bil­ity Ste­wart did not dis­pute; he said an­other GM had al­ready texted him to ex­plore the idea.

“It does give us flex­i­bil­ity, and also the dol­lars saved give us some flex­i­bil­ity as well,” Ste­wart said. “You guys know we’ve been look­ing at middle re­liev­ers. We’ve been look­ing at closers. We’ve been look­ing in those ar­eas to try to get bet­ter. If there is a deal out there to be made we have to look at it.”

Piecoro writes for The (Phoenix) Ari­zona Re­pub­lic, part of the USA TO­DAY NET­WORK.

 ?? CHARLES LECLAIRE, USA TO­DAY SPORTS ?? The Twins need more out of first base­man Joe Mauer, who has $69 mil­lion left on his con­tract.
CHARLES LECLAIRE, USA TO­DAY SPORTS The Twins need more out of first base­man Joe Mauer, who has $69 mil­lion left on his con­tract.

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