Could a Jean Segura for Steven Matz trade happen?

Before I start, let me just say I highly doubt a Jean Segura for Steven Matz trade will happen, so please don’t think I’m delusional. It would be an unbelievable trade for the Brewers and a less than stellar one (to put it nicely) for the Mets. There’s a very small chance that New York’s front office would ever green light a trade of this nature. However, even though there’s a small chance, there’s still a chance. And the Mets don’t really have a history of making the smartest acquisitions. Furthermore, they apparently already have interest in Milwaukee’s young shortstop.

According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the Brewers and Mets have engaged in trade discussions centered around Segura and third baseman Aramis Ramirez.

Morosi makes no mention of Matz, so this is just pure speculation on my part. I’m honestly just curious if a trade of this magnitude is plausible.

Let’s start with Milwaukee’s side of this trade.

The Brewers are hopefully about to begin a massive rebuild. I mean, if they had any sense at all, they’d trade as many players as possible on the current 25-man roster. Things are bad in Milwaukee, and the next few years will be nothing to smile at either. The time to start over is now. And starting over begins with acquiring young players who can make an impact in the future.

Teams can’t win without pitching, and the Brewers farm system, in terms of arms, is weaker than my pinky toe. The few pitchers I’m excited about, like Kodi Meideiros, are a years away from sniffing the major leagues, which is fine, considering the Brewers are now looking to the future. But the need to load up on young arms is crucial, and Matz (24 years old) could be one of those arms. If it’s going to take the Brewers three years or so to finish the rebuild (three years is on the short side), Matz will just be entering his prime years and his value will be through the roof.

Baseball America ranked left-handed Matz as the Mets’ second-best prospect behind Noah Syndergaard entering the 2015 season. He made his major league debut on June 28, and before going on the disabled list with a partial tear in his left lat muscle, he was doing quite well for a rookie hurler. In his two starts, he struck out about 27% of batters and allowed just a .167 batting average on balls in play. That played into a 1.32 ERA, but a 4.25 FIP and 3.97 xFIP. He walked quite a few hitters and gave up two home runs in his 13.2 innings.

But because his major league stats screams “small sample size,” we can’t and shouldn’t put too much merit into them. Instead, we need to look at how he performed in the minors. In 90.1 innings in Triple-A, Matz pitched to a 2.19 ERA and a 3.44 FIP. Like in the majors, he issued too many free passes (8.6 BB%), but that was really his first run-in with a plethora of walks. He walked just 14 hitters in 71.1 innings in Double-A in ’14, so it’s a bit too early to know if he’ll have control problems as a major-league pitcher.

Matz features a plus fastball and a plus changeup with a curveball thrown in there. When he threw his changeup, he made hitters swing-and-miss 14.3% of the time while up with the Mets. The Brewers would love to have someone of his caliber launch the rebuild.

As far as Segura goes, the Brewers shouldn’t really have a problem unloading him. They have stud shortstop Orlando Arcia, who is figured to be one or two years away, waiting and killing Double-A. And because Segura has not hit a lick with the Brewers (.296 wOBA and 83 wRC+ in his career), I wouldn’t be surprised if the Brewers are ready to move on from him.

Clearly, this trade favors the Brewers, but there are a few reasons why the Mets might want to take the risk and ship off one of their best prospects for a former highly touted prospect in Segura. The first one being that the Mets are already stacked with top-notch pitchers. They have Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom and Syndergaard. Not to mention they have a high-strikeout guy in Rafael Montero in the minors.

New York has pitchers to spare, but what they don’t have is a shortstop. When comparing Segura and current Mets’ shortstops Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores, there’s not much difference in their hitting profiles. They’re all below-average hitters who don’t get on base all that often. However, Segura is the superior defender at short over Tejada, has more upside despite being the same age as Tejada and older than Flores, and comes at a very cheap contract price with three more years of club control.

And who knows? Maybe the Mets believe that Segura will turn into a league-average hitter. He did hit consistently well in the minors, and 2014 was a lost season because of the death of his infant son, so we have to take his lackluster performance with a grain of salt. Segura still has a lot of time to live up to his billing. Upside is the keyword here.

If the Mets did send Matz to Milwaukee, my guess is that New York would demand more than just Segura in return. And they’d probably want more than just a throw-in player. Maybe a player like Tyler Thornburg or Corey Knebel would be enough for them, although I doubt the Brewers would part with a young, high upside guy like Knebel. But if the Brewers want someone like Matz, they’ll need to part with a player similar to who I just mentioned.

Segura alone won’t be enough.

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12 thoughts on “Could a Jean Segura for Steven Matz trade happen?

  1. Chin

    Not a chance. If the Mets offer up Matz or another young starter in a deal, they’ll get better offers than a mediocre defender with a .654 OPS. He may be a little better than Tejada, but not by much. It would be a marginal upgrade.

    (And the Bay signing was made by the previous front office.)

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  2. Herb G

    No disrespect intended, but you are delusional for even dreaming of a trade like this. I don’t believe the Brewers can come up with any package that would induce the Mets to trade Matz. (or Syndergaard, Harvey, deGrom, or even Wheeler, who will complete the best rotation in MLB by the second half of 2016) As a Mets fan, I’ll give you a trade I would make. How about Jean Segura and Gerardo Parra for Ruben Tejada, Marcos Molina, Matt Reynolds and Matt Bowman.

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      1. enyherb

        No. Actually, you said “please don’t think I’m delusional”. Suggesting that trade straight faced, however, led me to think that you ARE delusional. LOL. OK, you are a Brewer fan, so you can’t be blamed for wishful thinking. We Mets fans have been guilty of plenty of wishful thinking, often suggesting delusional trade scenarios that greatly overvalue our prospects. If I were to continue that tradition, I would suggest that you guys send us Carlos Gomez for Cesar Puello and Dario Alvarez.

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  3. Peter

    Oh boy, I can promise you Harvey, Syndergaard, Matz, and DeGrom will not be dealt. The Brewers don’t have a hitter who could demand any of them in a deal. The young arms who might be available are Wheeler (currently out with TJ surgery), Montero (out with undefined shoulder issues), and Fulmer (next big arm through the system coming into his own). Gomez is a castoff of the Mets system and they know him as well as anyone. He is a player that relies on his athleticism and he’s closing in on 30, so he won’t have the shelf life of others. I could see them dealing maybe Wheeler and Nimmo or something like that. Which would be a coup if building for the future. Wheeler will be ready for next year but with TJ it’s usually a year and half out before you get back and Nimmo is a high on base guy with some pop who is a year maybe year and a half away from being a starting outfielder.

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    1. Justin Schultz Post author

      The Brewers aren’t going to trade for a player coming off TJ surgery, not when they’re rebuilding. The only way that happens is if the Mets don’t ask for much in return.

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      1. enyherb

        Actually, Wheeler could be dealt while recovering from TJS. And a pitcher of his caliber would get a top quality hitter in return. Think Gomez. Remember, he was traded for Beltran when he was still an untried prospect. Now he is a proven MLB starter, and a top of the rotation one at that.

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  4. Marc Seligman

    Based on what you see happening, there’s just no way The Mets can trade any front line starting pitching. Also, not sure why the Mets would want Segura. This BS of they “need” a SS. No, they need a right handed slugger like Todd Fraser. Not another weak hitting shortstop

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  5. BrewCrew82

    Justin do you realize that Matz has been projected to be a front line starting pitcher? Matz IS the guy that the Mets would need to unload for Frazier. A much more realistic target would probably be someone like Gabriel Ynoa.

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    1. Justin Schultz Post author

      All I was trying to do was figure out if a trade like this could happen. I figured that out by writing the article. If you read it, you would know that I definitely don’t think a Segura for Matz trade will happen.

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      1. Herb G

        Ah, Justin. So you figured out by writing the article, what we Mets fans knew all along. Now you should get to the crux of this question. Is there a trade to be made between the Mets and the Brewers, and if so, who would be realistic chips on each side of that trade?

        As Marc Seligman pointed out, the Mets primary need is a slugging RH hitter. The Brewers have 2 players who would be good fits and attractive to the Mets. Ryan Braun (even post Biogenesis) is a stud. Unfortunately, he is an expensive stud. I can’t see Sandy Alderson taking on that $100 million liability through 2020 when Michael Conforto is waiting in the wings, ready to take over in LF next year. Carlos Gomez is a quality player. He would be an asset to the Mets, and is signed through 2016 with a reasonable contract. I’m thinking that the Brewers would ask more for him than Sandy thinks he is worth, and then there is also that Conforto thing. IMO, Sandy will fill this need with a 3 month rental. Think Justin Upton.

        Beyond the big RH bat, there are a few other needs that the mets could look to fill at the deadline. First is an upgrade at SS. Segura wouldn’t be much of an upgrade, but the Mets could make a play for him, since the market for shortstops is painfully thin. He is arb-eligible next year and controllable through 2018. The other Mets need is a LH hitting CF with a good glove to platoon with Lagares. Gerardo Parra (FA after this season) could be that guy. If the price was right, after securing that power RH bat, I’d make an offer for both of them. Segura and Parra for Gaby Ynoa, Matt Bowman, Matt Reynolds and Cesar Puello.

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