[Editor's note: Major League Baseball enters the 2017 season loaded with talent at the shortstop position like it has never seen before—not even in the early and mid-nineties when Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Nomar Garciaparra arrived. This week, VICE Sports will preview the upcoming season by examining the shortstop position, how it has evolved over the past 100 years, and where things stand right now. First up, Jean Segura, who in another era might have been considered one of the best shortstops in baseball.]
"Jean Segura fit our club as well as any player we were looking at on the trade market." —Jerry Dipoto, general manager Seattle Mariners.
At first glance, there's nothing that interesting in Jerry Dipoto's words. A GM acquires a player, and then says nice things about him. But a year ago, it would have been insane to imagine a baseball executive, even one who has explored the weirdest corners of the trade market like Dipoto, talking about Segura that way. It would have been even crazier to imagine Segura as the centerpiece of a deal for Taijuan Walker, Seattle's most electric pitching prospect since Felix Hernandez.
The Mariners are a weird baseball team. Last year, they won 86 games. They had Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, and Nelson Cruz. Surrounding them were mostly a bunch of hired guns picked up on cheap short-term contracts by Dipoto.
Continue reading on VICE Sports.