Mariners bet on Jean Segura with five-year, $70 million extension

Jean Segura has made quite the impression on the Seattle Mariners. In just 42 games with the club, the shortstop has hit an impressive .341/.391/.462. That performance was enough to convince the Mariners they’ve found their future at the position, as they announced a five-year extension with Segura on Wednesday.

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While the team did not release the contract details, Segura’s extension is expected to be worth $70 million. The team also holds a $17 million club option on Segura for 2023, according to Bob Dutton of The News Tribune.

Segura was set to become a free-agent following the 2018 season prior to signing the extension. The deal buys out his final year of arbitration, and locks him up for four additional seasons.

Jean Segura will be a member of the Mariners for five more years. (AP Photo)

The timing of the move signals the Mariners’ belief in Segura’s offensive turnaround the past two years. General manager Jerry DiPoto said as much in a team statement announcing the signing.

“Over the past two seasons, Jean has been one of the premier offensive players in baseball,” Dipoto said. “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 showed promise during his rookie season with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013, hitting .294/.329/.423. The following year, he left the club in June after the death of his nine-month-old son. Over the next two seasons, Segura hit .252/.285/.331 over 1,141 plate appearances.

A trade to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2016 re-awakened his bat. Since then, the 27-year-old Segura has hit .324/.373/.491, with 24 home runs, over 892 plate appearances. His 129 wRC+, an advanced stat that measures offensive performance, ranks third among shortstops over that period. Combine that with the fact that Segura is still relatively young and plays a premium position, and it’s easy to see why the Mariners wanted to make the move.

While it might seem premature to hand out a big contract after just 42 games, the Mariners have been closely monitoring Segura for months now. They believed in him enough to give up pitcher Taijuan Walker to acquire Segura in the offseason.

At $70 million, the team is betting Segura can maintain his recent level of performance. While that’s a risk, Segura has lived up to the team’s expectations thus far. They were right about Segura in the offseason. His stock has only gone up since then.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!