Some MLB trade rumors are inevitable. Starling Marte and the Yankees are one such partnership this summer.
The Yankees have got an OPS of well under .700 from Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner. Their need for an outfielder is obvious. Plenty of names will crop up between now and July 30th, but few are as productive as Marte, who is a free agent at season’s end and will surely be made available by the Marlins.
Marte trade is what Yankees need
The Yankees are looking to keep pace in the American League East standings. Pitching might prove a priority for Brian Cashman, but it would be foolish to neglect an offense which has slumped this year outside of the usual production from Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
New York is 29th in wins above average from center field. They are 30th by the same metric in left field. An outfield bat (or maybe even two) is a must. In an unprecedented position, the Yankees are 24th in runs per game on June 23rd. This offense needs a boost.
How good is Starling Marte?
By contrast, the Marlins are fourth in center field production, primarily because of Marte.
Asked Donnie pre-game, how Starling Marte compares to other OF he's had with the Marlins?
'I'm not sure that I've EVER had a CF quite like this guy'
Insert # here pic.twitter.com/XZDx9zhaN3
— Peter Pratt | Marlins 🇧🇸 (@MiamiMarlins_UK) June 15, 2021
Although not a qualifier for hitting stats, Marte’s 161 wRC+ would put him in the top 10 in the Majors. Of qualifiers, the only outfielders ahead of him are Ronald Acuna Jr and the Reds slugging duo of Nicholas Castellanos and Jesse Winker.
This is a new Marte at the plate. His 13.4% walk rate is way over double his previous career high. Fundamental changes like that tend to stick – hitters don’t usually fluke into walks. He’s hitting a bit better than the quality of contact would suggest, but the underlying numbers are still good. Baseball Savant has the Marlins outfielder in the 88th percentile in xwOBA.
Speaking of 88th percentile stuff – Marte is at the same level for outs above average. At 32, the defense in center will drop off relatively soon, but that’s not a concern for a Yankees Marte trade as he’s a free agent in a few months.
One important note on Marte’s offense: he’s doing more damage against righties than lefties. His arrival would lessen the Yankees’ desperation for a lefty bat. He’s still an everyday player with great numbers against LHPs.
Making a trade work
Marte can bring elite play on both sides of the ball. His $12.5 million salary is very reasonable.
Competition is the only concern with this trade. The Yankees will not be the only suitors. How high a price are New York willing to pay?
The top three prospects are off the board. Oswald Peraza is lighting up Double-A. Maybe the Marlins consider a deal around Luis Medina, Yoendrys Gomez or Alexander Vizcaino.
The Clint Frazier question resurfaces. If the Marlins like his upside, do the Yankees really sell low on a player they have kept despite numerous trade rumors?
There have been murmurs about the Marlins re-signing Marte. They could pull off what the Yankees did with Aroldis Chapman, but their desire to keep him around long-term might make a trade less likely.
Along with a starter or two, Marte should be at the top of the Yankees’ trade deadline shopping list.