Jean Segura on joining Robinson Cano in Mariners’ potent double play combo: ‘It’s gonna be fun’

Jan 28, 2017, 3:46 PM | Updated: 3:49 pm
Jean Segura broke out last year with the Diamondbacks after getting some tips from Robinson Cano. (...
Jean Segura broke out last year with the Diamondbacks after getting some tips from Robinson Cano. (AP)

The Seattle Mariners had just one All-Star last season – second baseman Robinson Cano. But he may not even be the only All-Star from even just the team’s middle infield in 2017.

That’s because Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto went out and got Jean Segura from the Arizona Diamondbacks in November through a blockbuster trade that sent Taijuan Walker and Ketel Marte to Phoenix and also brought outfielder Mitch Haniger to Seattle. Segura, a one-time All-Star himself in 2013, finished last year with numbers definitely worthy of playing in the Midsummer Classic, even if he was snubbed.

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Interestingly enough, like Cano, Segura excelled last season at second base as Arizona had other options in the 6-hole. The trade to Seattle allows him to move back to his natural position of shortstop, though, something Segura is excited about.

“I (waited) for that moment. Last year I didn’t have any choice,” Segura told members of the media Saturday at the Mariners’ annual FanFest at Safeco Field. “The only choice that I had was to play second base, and as a professional baseball player you have to do what you have to do. … You know, I’m a shortstop. I came to the big leagues as a shortstop.

“It’s gonna be more fun to go back to my normal position.”

Fun is a word the soon-to-be 27-year-old Segura used a lot in his short time with the press. A big reason why is because he’ll be part of a double play combination with Cano, which could be one of the best middle infields in baseball when it comes to all-around production. Segura hit .319 with 20 home runs, 64 RBIs and a .867 OPS in 2016, and Cano had his best year as a Mariner yet, crushing 39 homers and driving in 103 runs while posting a .298 average and .882 OPS.

“There were a lot of guys who were waiting for that combination in the middle of the infield, and it’s gonna be fun. I can tell you right now, it’s gonna be fun,” Segura said.

Playing alongside Cano has more meaning than that for Segura, though. Both players are from the Dominican Republic, and the seven-time All-Star Cano is certainly somebody that Segura looks up to. They have a history together, as Cano actually gave Segura hitting tips after a couple of bad seasons in Milwaukee that helped him break out last year with the Diamondbacks. They’ve since become offseason workout partners in the D.R.

“We work together, practice together, we lift together in the offseason. I think (playing with Cano) is gonna be one of the best moments of my life,” Segura said. “It’s my first time playing with him, and I’m telling you right now I just can’t wait to get our season started.”

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Jean Segura on joining Robinson Cano in Mariners’ potent double play combo: ‘It’s gonna be fun’