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Mean Jean is an important part of the Phillies machine

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That was a stretch

Philadelphia Phillies v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The numbers

217 PA, .266/.347/.422, 7 HR, 25 RBI, 45:23 K:BB, 106 OPS+

The good

It seems looking back on it that Jean Segura had a sneaky good season for the Phillies. He was versatile in playing three infield positions, moving when the team asked him to and didn’t complain about it. He hit pretty well considering what he did in 2019. His glove was pretty good wherever he played, ranking in the 99th percentile in OAA (outs above average), coming back from the depths of the 8th percentile in 2019. He’s still pretty tough to strikeout, even if those numbers look a little worse in 2020 than in 2019.

It was just a quietly solid season for Segura.

The bad

Even with that being said, it still feels like there should be something more from Segura, like there is more to his game.

Granted, that’s largely a subjective reason for finding something bad about his year. The straight objective data says that there really wasn’t anything bad about Segura’s game. His OAA bouncing back from where he was in 2019 was the result of his no longer having to occupy shortstop, the place he struggled in 2019. The issue with that is that the team was rumored to be trying to move him this offseason and as rough as his defensive game was at the six, the team would no longer have a true shortstop on the roster were he to be moved. With the team likely moving on from Didi Gregorius, this strategy seems to be foolhardy at best.

The future

And that is where we have to talk about Segura’s future with the Phillies.

If the team is truly looking to move him, it has to be purely financially motivated. With Gregorius more than likely going to find a new home, trading Segura would leave them without a true shortstop. They could change that by grabbing someone for one season (Andrelton Simmons? Marcus Semien?) and then jumping into the crazy good shortstop free agent class of 2021-22, but then they’d also be going up against the impending CBA talks that could threaten a season. It’s also possible that they have some irons in the fire to trade for someone on a one year deal (Lindor? Correa? Story?), then use the entire season to try and extend them.

Those ideas, though, seem to be far fetched and quite frankly implausible. That brings us back to the idea of trading Segura. It just doesn’t make sense unless it is to free up money for other things. Let’s face it - Scott Kingery, a shortstop he is not. So Segura would seem to be a needed player. If he does return (and I’d put those chances around 90% that he does), he’ll need to improve his defense tremendously. He did come into the season in much better physical shape in 2020, so perhaps that same initiative could be taken for 2021 as he prepares to handle a much more challenging defensive spot.

Either way, 2021 is kind of a big season for Jean. That shortstop class coming up is mighty tempting, so if he wants to remain with the team, he’s going to have to perform.