Starling Marte Heads to Arizona Diamondbacks
Starling Marte is heading from Pittsburgh to Phoenix.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have sent two of their top ten prospects to the Pirates in exchange for the 31-year-old center fielder, according to reports. Infielder Liover Peguero and right-handed pitcher Brennan Malone, a pair of 19-year-olds, complete the trade. According to Baseball America, Peguero is the number seven prospect and Malone is the number nine prospect in the Diamondbacks system.
Background of Starling Marte
Starling Marte made the National League All-Star Team in 2016 as a member of the Pirates. In 2015 and 2016, he won Gold Gloves while playing left field. In 2017, he missed half the season due to an 80-game suspension after testing positive for Nandrolone. He moved to center field full-time in 2018.
During his entire career, the speedy outfielder has excelled defensively. In 2015 and 2016, he led all National League left fielders in assists. He stayed in the top three in 2018 and 2019 after moving to center field, finishing third and second in those years, respectively. Marte has also finished in the NL top ten in stolen bases every year – even in 2017, when he missed half the year. Over that span, he stole 20 or more bases in each season – the only player in Major League Baseball to do so. He should feel right at home with the Diamondbacks, given that they are a team that prides itself on defense and baserunning.
He also brings a potent bat. Since 2013, he is one of only two major leaguers to have a total of over 200 stolen bases and over 100 home runs, with the other being Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. In that same timespan, he has been in the top ten of NL outfielders in stolen bases (223, second), triples (36, second), batting average (.289, fourth), hits (998, fourth), doubles (188, fifth), runs scored (531, fifth), and extra-base hits (327, sixth).
To complete the trade, the Pirates sent cash considerations. The Diamondbacks have designated infielder Pat Valaika for assignment to make room on the roster.
The Diamondbacks have sent two minor leaguers to the Pirates in exchange for an all-star before. It happened on February 25, 1999 in the deal that brought Tony Womack to Arizona.
Marte, who wore #6 in Pittsburgh, will switch to #2 in Arizona. Left fielder David Peralta already wears #6 for the Diamondbacks.
Embed from Getty Images