The Arizona Diamondbacks attempted to upgrade their second-base position by way of subtraction, trading away incumbent Aaron Hill on Saturday to the Milwaukee Brewers in a deal that netted them shortstop Jean Segura.
According to the Brewers' official Twitter account, Arizona dealt Hill, right-handed pitcher Chase Anderson, shortstop Isan Diaz and cash to Milwaukee in exchange for Segura and right-handed pitcher Tyler Wagner.
"In Chase Anderson and Aaron Hill, we are adding two proven major league contributors who will impact our team this year," Brewers general manager David Stearns said, per the Associated Press. "Chase is a young starting pitcher who has already enjoyed success at the major league level. Aaron has a long history of production and positional versatility."
As for the Diamondbacks, snagging Segura is a major win. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt noted, Milwaukee was motivated to move the 25-year-old with ascendant minor league shortstop Orlando Arcia in line to make his major league debut sooner rather than later.
MLB.com's Adam McCalvy broke down when Arcia could arrive in the Brewers lineup:
The Segura trade will have no impact on Orlando Arcia's timeline, David Stearns said. Arcia will start at Triple-A.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 30, 2016
MLB Network's Jon Heyman and Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan broke down the move further from Milwaukee's perspective:
Brewers make sensible move by trading Segura. Their ss prospect Orlando arcia will be a star.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 30, 2016
Quite a few executives are big fans of Isan Diaz, the 19-year-old SS the Brewers got back in Jean Segura deal. David Stearns doing work.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 30, 2016
Segura, who was an All-Star in 2013 and batted .257 with a career-best 50 RBI last season, is under team control for three more seasons, per Spotrac. However, a shift may be on the way for Segura. According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Diamondbacks "certainly plan to have Jean Segura in the everyday lineup, most likely at second base."
On the flip side, Hill is due $12 million in salary for the 2016 season, though the positive for Milwaukee is he has an expiring contract, according to Spotrac.
Having posted on-base percentages below .300 over the past two seasons and a negative defensive WAR in that span as well, per Baseball-Reference.com, Hill has not lived up to his top-dollar billing.
If the Diamondbacks can't land a superior second baseman on the roster before spring training, they might opt to start Chris Owings, though Segura is also an option to change positions.
Owings is only 24 years old, and although he batted .227 in 2015, he does have upside and plenty of room to grow, whereas Hill's best baseball seems to be behind him. No matter what the future holds with Owings, it wouldn't hurt to bring a veteran aboard for depth purposes.
Even if this Hill trade isn't one that stirs excitement among fans in the desert, it is a step in the right direction. The addition of ace pitcher Zack Greinke gives the D-backs staff a much-needed boost and should help Arizona improve in 2016 regardless of who starts at second base.
The Brewers are absorbing a lot of salary and cutting the Diamondbacks a considerable break, but they won't be burdened with Hill's deal on the books for long. The hope is he can have a bounce-back season.
Hill was an All-Star with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009, when he had 36 home runs and 108 RBI. He also had an excellent 2012 campaign in Arizona with 26 homers, 85 RBI and became one of only four players in MLB history to hit for the cycle twice in one season.
With experience playing third base and shortstop, he's a versatile infielder who could be a solid stopgap option reinvigorated by a fresh start.