Are the New York Mets getting closer to trading for Pittsburgh Pirates star CF Starling Marte? Well, it depends who you ask.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, talks between the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates over star centerfielder Starling Marte are intensifying.
Hearing Starling Marte talks are intensifying. Mets, Padres. Still a chance something gets done before spring training.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 24, 2020
This got the Mets fan base all riled up. Mets fans are split on Marte. Some believe he would provide a huge upgrade over Brandon Nimmo in center field while adding another middle-of-the-order bat to the lineup.
Others believe that Marte isn’t a defensive upgrade over Nimmo, and his bat isn’t much better if at all. So, a Marte trade in principle doesn’t make sense.
It didn’t take long before the reports got a little more complicated. Shortly after Heyman’s report, Andy Martino of SNY reported that the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates are still far apart in trade talks.
Mets and Pirates are pretty far apart on Marte talks at the moment.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) January 24, 2020
That said, Martino does note that the Mets and Pirates have been in communication since November about a potential deal. Martino reports that the Pirates ask for Marte is still too big. They’re said to be looking for multiple major league level players and prospects.
Considering the Mets already have a crowded outfield situation, a Marte trade doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. For the deal to make sense, the Mets would almost certainly have to send an outfielder in return.
Nimmo’s name has come up as a potential piece in a Marte deal, but the Mets shot that down in December. The Mets believe Marte isn’t worth Nimmo while the Pirates believe Marte is worth Nimmo-plus more.
That’s the crux of the argument the two teams have had all offseason. It’s possible the Pirates asking price has come down enough to the point the Mets feel comfortable going back to the table. That said, it doesn’t make sense that the Pirates price would drop drastically with the season right around the corner.
If no Marte deal comes to fruition, expect Marte to be a hot deadline commodity.