Starling Marte
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami’s Starling Marte is a great short-term outfield option for the desperate New York Yankees.

We all know the New York Yankees love Starling Marte.

It’s not exactly a secret. Last season, when he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the New York Post reported the Yankees as interested in trading for him. Marte was instead dealt to the Miami Marlins, where he remains their starting center fielder.

Cut back to the Yankees, and they have serious outfield issues. Who starts in the field alongside Aaron Judge is anybody’s guess on a day-to-day basis. Giancarlo Stanton is the team’s second most reliable outfielder, and he hasn’t even played a single inning in the field all season.

Aaron Hicks is injured and out for the season, age has finally caught up with Brett Gardner’s bat, and Estevan Florial is batting .210 in the minors. Aaron Boone seems content to ride the hot hand between Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar in left, leaving a gaping hole in center.

Seeing as how Marte is on a last-place Marlins team and a free agent at season’s end, the question remains:

Why hasn’t Brian Cashman traded for him yet?

Why Starling Marte?

As to why the Yankees should trade for Starling Marte, the answer is easy. He’s a free agent this winter and is only making $12.5 million in 2021. As my grandfather used to say, you can’t beat that with two sticks!

Furthermore, Marte’s actually having a really good season despite the Marlins’ performance. He’s posted a line of .310/.420/.500 with six home runs and 17 RBI. If the OBP seems high, it’s because Marte has posted a career-high BB% of 14% in 2021, well above his career BB% of 5.3%. Marte is also a good contact hitter with decent isolated power (ISO), with a mark of .190.

As for his fielding, the Yankees could certainly do worse than Starling Marte. He’s a left fielder by trade and plays the position excellently, but he switched to center in 2018 with mixed results. This season is proving to be a good one in the field, with Marte posting a +3 DRS in center field.

The Yankees not only could use Marte, but they borderline need him this year.

Making the deal

The good news for the Yankees is that because Starling Marte would be a summer rental, Cashman won’t have to give up much for him. Remember, he and the Marlins have done business before. Giancarlo Stanton was acquired from Miami for Starlin Castro, prospects, cash, your cousin’s old Super Nintendo, a few baseball cards, a big of Frito’s…you get the idea.

Marte, meanwhile, might cost ever so slightly more, but not by much. This is because according to Miami insider Craig Mish, Marte wants to negotiate a long-term extension so he can retire a Marlin.

It may not seem so, but this strengthens the Yankees’ position. Remember, Cashman traded Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs for Gleyber Torres in 2016 and then re-signed Chapman in free agency. It’s just a matter of making a deal just sweet enough that Miami can’t say no.

Thus, I propose the following:

  • Yankees Receive: OF Starling Marte
  • Marlins Receive: SP Clarke Schmidt, RHP Albert Abreu, SS Alexander Vargas, and OFs Everson Pereira & Brandon Lockridge

Why it makes sense

Granted, the Marlins are in a far different position now than the Cubs were when they traded for Chapman. Chicago was a dominant closer away from being the World Series favorite. Miami just needs to add young talent who can debut in the next 2-3 years.

Looking at this rough offer, the Yankees are providing just that. Schmidt is 25 and has dealt with elbow issues all year, but has a high ceiling and Miami is the perfect environment for him to work out his kinks. Abreu, meanwhile, could probably be a high-leverage arm in Miami tomorrow.

As for the position players, Vargas is a 19-year-old switch-hitter whose bat is turning heads despite not having much power. Yet, his path to the majors is blocked not only by Gleyber Torres, but by fellow infield prospects Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe.

Pereira and Lockridge aren’t attractive outfield prospects like Florial, but Miami isn’t getting the moon here. Remember, New York is giving up just enough to land Starling Marte and then let him return to Miami come winter.

Plus, Pereira and Lockridge are both blocked by Hicks, Florial, and top prospect Jasson Dominguez. Oh, and let’s not forget the teenage sensation Kevin Alcantara. This deal truly works out for everyone involved.

Final thoughts

At this point, the New York Yankees have two options. They can either hope the lineup gets it together, or they can trade for a bat. Given how it’s almost July and Frazier is still batting under .200, the answer should be obvious.

The answer, ladies and gentlemen, is Starling Marte. Sure, he’s another right-handed bat. The Yankees are overloaded with them. But do fans really expect the soon-to-be-38-year-old Gardner to suddenly get his bat speed back? It’s unrealistic and everyone knows it.

Best case scenario, Starling Marte arrives in New York and injects some life into what has so far been a frustratingly inconsistent lineup. Worst case scenario, things don’t work out and the Yankees didn’t give up too much for him. Even better, they wouldn’t be committed to him beyond this year.

There is a deal to be made for Starling Marte. More importantly, the Yankees have done this kind of dance before, but were just on the other side of the deal. There is a way to acquire Marte and keep everyone happy on both sides.

Brian Cashman, your move.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.