Tuesday, January 28, 2020

MLB Trade Review: Diamondbacks acquire Marte



             The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired OF Starling Marte and cash from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for RHP Brennan Malone and IF Liover Peguero, plus international signing bonus pool money.

            Marte trade rumors have been spread all offseason, with multiple teams including the Mets reportedly in on the former all-star. Marte has always been a speed threat, with 20 stolen bases in all of his first seven full seasons, including a career high 47 in 2016. He won two Gold Gloves from 2015-16. He had his best offensive season in 2019, with career highs in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS. The Pirates are entering full rebuild mode, and shedding salary is a common first step. The Pirates get two young prospects, but neither are top 100 prospects.

            With bringing in a center-fielder, the Diamondbacks could move Ketel Marte back to the infield, as there are no clear front-runners to start at second base. The new Marte will play center while David Peralta and newcomer Kole Calhoun are on the corners. Speedy outfielder Tim Locastro will fit in as the fourth outfielder, and prospect Josh Rojas can play left field as well. Marte going back to the infield all depends on if Jake Lamb can win back the third base job and move 118 RBI man Eduardo Escobar to second base. Lamb hit 30 home runs in 2017 but has been horrendous in the two seasons since.

            Marte, 31, hit 23 home runs with 25 stolen bases, a .295 batting average and a .845 OPS in 586 Plate Appearances in 2019. In his MLB career, all in Pittsburgh, Marte has hit 108 home runs with 239 stolen bases, a .287 batting average and a .793 OPS in 3986 Plate Appearances.

            Malone, 19, was the 33rd overall pick in the 2019 draft. In his professional debut in rookie league and for Low-A Hillsboro Malone had a 4.50 ERA with eight strikeouts in eight innings.

            Peguero, also 19, hit five home runs with 11 stolen bases, a .326 batting average and a .866 OPS in 249 Plate Appearances for Hillsboro and rookie league Missoula. In his minor league career Peguero has hit six home runs with 18 stolen bases and a .299 batting average plus a .781 OPS in 410 Plate Appearances.

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