The New York Mets have reengaged in trade talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates regarding outfielder Starling Marte.
According to Robert Murray (formerly of The Athletic), the New York Mets have reopened trade talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates regarding outfielder Starling Marte. This was a fairly hot topic of discussion earlier this offseason before talks seemed to simmer.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 19, 2020
The two sides have reengaged in discussions, with the Arizona Diamondbacks also expressing interest. Marte, who’s 31 years old, is set to make $11.5 million next year. He has a $12.5 million club option in 2021.
The veteran made his MLB debut in 2012 and has spent his entire career in Pittsburgh. Marte has a career slash line of .287/.341/.452, a .793 OPS, and a 115 OPS+. He’s a two-time Gold Glover, winning the award in both 2015 and 2016. He additionally earned a bid to the All-Star Game in 2016.
Marte slashed .295/.342/.503, had an OPS of .845, an OPS+ of 120+, a career-high 23 home runs, and a career-high 82 RBIs in 2019. He’s also a smart and speedy base runner, being that he’s stolen 239 bases throughout his career.
Marte has always been a great hitter and is coming off a fantastic year. His problems arise defensively in centerfield though. Overall, Marte has played the majority of his career in left field and has played to an elite level in that spot. Nevertheless, he played the majority of this past season (1,141.1 innings) in center and struggled mightily. He had a DRS of -9 and a UZR of -7.6.
The only reason New York is even inquiring about Marte is that they’re hoping to improve in centerfield. Marte is best in left field, but the Mets’ left fielder, J.D. Davis, is a solid option with much potential.
Not only is Davis an impactful asset to the team, but it also looks like Yoenis Cespedes will play at least a good chunk of next season as well.
Thus, the Mets are all set in left field and it’s highly unlikely that they’d make a trade for someone who plays that position. Even though Marte is a great hitter and baserunner, which is something the Mets have an issue with, the ballclub is probably going to have a crowded outfield next year.
It seems the Pirates are going to want a good return for Marte anyway.
Mets fans, don’t be surprised if the organization ends up backing out of this.