SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have agreed to a $70 million, five-year contract with shortstop Jean Segura covering 2018-22, a deal that brings stability to what has been a position of flux for more than a decade.
Segura is making $6.2 million this year and would have been eligible for free agency following the 2018 season. The contract announced Wednesday calls for a $3 million signing bonus, a $9 million salary next season and $14.25 million in each of the following four years. Seattle has a $17 million option for 2023 with a $1 million buyout. Segura gets a full-no trade provision.
Segura was the centerpiece of one of Seattle's biggest offseason moves, being acquired from Arizona as part of a five-player trade. After leading the National League in hits last season, Segura has not disappointed in his move to the American League. Despite two stints on the disabled list, Segura is leading the American League in hitting with a .341 average.
"Over the past two seasons, Jean has been one of the premier offensive players in baseball," general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "His combination of average, power and speed is extremely difficult to find, especially as a top-of-the-lineup hitter at a key defensive position like shortstop. We are all quite excited about having him here with the Mariners and believe he is a key ingredient in our ongoing effort to build a championship level roster."
Segura is currently out with a right high-ankle sprain that could keep him on the DL for up to a month. He also missed time in April with a hamstring injury.
But when healthy, Segura has been one of the premier middle infielders in baseball the past two seasons. Segura hit .319 with 20 home runs, 33 stolen bases and 63 RBIs for the Diamondbacks last season after he was acquired in an offseason trade from Milwaukee. Segura was an All-Star with the Brewers in 2013.
Shortstop has proved to be a troubled position for Seattle ever since Alex Rodriguez left for Texas after the 2000 season. Seattle hasn't had the same shortstop play the majority of games at the position for more than three seasons since Yuniesky Betancourt was the Mariners' primary shortstop for parts of five seasons from 2005-09.
Segura has played second base and shortstop in his career and is now locked up with the majority of Seattle's core players. Robinson Cano is signed through 2023; Kyle Seager through 2021 with a club option for 2022; and Felix Hernandez is signed through 2019.