Starling Marte is an interesting option in Joel Sherman’s list of potential trade targets . Marte, 31, has had a fine 8-year career so far and is projected to put up another pretty damn good season, Base-Reference is projecting the centerfielder’s slash line at .277/.330/.462/.793 with 26 doubles, four triples, 20 home runs and 69 RBI’s while swiping 23 bags during the 2020 campaign.
He’s already currently coming off of a 2.9 2019 WAR season in which he hit .295/.342/.503/.845 with 31 doubles, six triples, 23 home runs while driving in 82 RBI’s and stealing 25 bases in 586 at-bats.
“Fangraphs metrics are down on him defensively. But I asked multiple teams for what their proprietorial numbers show and he is more average (especially because of a strong arm) and scouts grade Marte higher than that. He also has a PED-related suspension on his ledger. But that didn’t stop the Mets from acquiring Cano; plus Marte’s stats have stayed consistent since his ban. He offers speed, power and plays hard. Marte is due $11.5 million this year with a $12.5 million 2021 option ($1 million buyout). The Pirates don’t have a GM yet, and the next one, like predecessor Neal Huntington, will always have to worry about payroll. Could the Mets build a deal around Nimmo, with Pittsburgh getting an extra year of control with the lefty swinger at a total cost probably under the $24 million due Marte the next two years?”
While according to Fangraphs and their declining defensive metrics on Marte, his defense would still be an upgrade at the position. In a perfect world, he’d be an amazing fit to split with Nimmo in centerfield, with Marte taking up roughly 65% of the playing time in center.
However, Sherman is suggesting that the Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates might want to include Nimmo in a potential package, and for the Pirates that makes a ton of sense.
While Brandon Nimmo is trying to get over an injury plagued 2019 season he’d probably like to forget, Baseball-Reference is projecting Nimmo to hit .252/.379/.457/.836 with 19 doubles, three triples, 13 home runs while driving in 40 runners in 313 at-bats for upcoming 2020 campaign.
The numbers and projections favor Marte for the upcoming season and I genuinely find this to be a tough call. There’s no guarantee with either player, Nimmo is coming off of a season in which he dealt with a serious neck injury and Marte might be at the point in his career where he begins to decline, there’s no telling.
However, Marte definitely has had an impressive eight year run in Pittsburgh as he’s a career 29.1 WAR player. I wouldn’t be mad if a deal was struck, all depending on other moving parts, of course. While that we’ve all feel like we’ve bonded with Nimmo as he grew as both an adult and professional, his character and demeanor would fit in perfectly with the City of Pittsburgh as it is recognized as a “Blue-Collard” demographic.
Also read: Trading Block: Jeff McNeil and the Rays