As the dismal 2015 season for the Milwaukee Brewers spiraled down the drain, I decided to tune into a game from the Brewers final road trip. Announcers Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder mentioned that the San Diego Padres shortstop situation was in dire straits, as they were using Jedd Gyorko at the position due to the lack of a real shortstop.
Alexi Amarista played the most innings, but is a ‘good field, no hit’ kind of guy. Clint Barmes is on the downside of his career, now a back-up guy that can still hit a bit, but not enough to hold down a full-time job. Gyorko is not a shortstop, having only spent 212 innings (all in 2015) at the position.
Jean Segura could make all the discussion go away.
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Segura has basically been the starting shortstop for the Brewers since he came over in the 2012 trade from the Los Angeles Angels. Since then, he has played 469 games at short for Milwaukee and has been a little above average for range factor, but a little below average for fielding percentage.
In truth, he has been a solid shortstop for the Brewers in his three-plus years in Milwaukee. His hitting has dropped off a bit from his rookie campaign (.294/.329/.423 with 44 steals and an All-Star game appearance) to a rather pedestrian slash line of .257/.280/.336 this year, but he still can run a bit (25 SB) and play good defense.
However, the Brewers have a young fellow at Class AA Biloxi by the name of Orlando Arcia. The 21-year-old Venezuelan is the top prospect for the Brewers and the #12 ranked player (MLB.com) in the majors this season.
The pundits are looking to get a clear path for Arcia, but that would require Segura to be traded or for him to make a position change, most likely to second base.
A trade to the Padres would make sense for both teams.
The Brewers are in the market for a catching prospect, since there are really no young players lined up behind Jonathan Lucroy and Martin Maldonado. The top young ‘prospect’ is 21-year-old Dustin Houle, who played in 25 games at Advanced A Brevard County this year, slashing .300/.337/.375. All the other receivers at the upper levels are no younger than 24.
San Diego has three catchers in its organization that might draw some interest in a possible Segura deal.
Highly-rated Austin Hedges is the #23 prospect (pre-2015, Baseball Prospectus) in the chain and played mostly at AAA El Paso. He is 23 years old. Next in line is 22-year-old Ryan Miller, currently at Advanced A Lake Elsinore. Cannon-armed 20-y-o Jose Ruiz played at Class A Fort Wayne last year and threw out 41% of the runners trying to steal against him.
These guys could be a starting point for a deal between Milwaukee and San Diego and although it may never happen, it could give Arcia a chance to make a name for himself and an opportunity for Milwaukee to acquire some much-needed catching help.