The Tampa Bay Rays traded away right-handed slugger Jose Martinez to the Chicago Cubs for two players to be named later. While the Rays have been active in trade talks, this move may come as a surprise.
The Rays hoped Jose Martinez could really help against left-handed pitching. In the short 2020, he was hitting only .239 with two home runs. He also showed no improvement on the defensive side of the ball.
The Cubs get a right-handed bat in Jose Martinez. Jose is a player you know what you’re getting when you bring him in. Jose’s bat is something they are familiar with as they saw it plenty with his days against the St Louis Cardinals. With Kris Bryant injured, the Cubs could use some help on the right side of the plate. Martinez will mostly serve as a DH or a late inning pinch hitter. In a pinch, he does carry a first base glove and can hide in right field, but batting gloves are the only gloves you hope he uses in a game.
The Rays will be receiving two players to be named later. Players to be named later is something most fans associate with someone of little to no significance. However, this year, any player traded who is not in the 60 man pool must be called a player to be named later. Rays should expect at least one of the names to be a decent prospect coming back.
The Rays also free up space for some of their own young talent to get an opportunity. Randy Arozarena was called up after the move and has been eagerly waiting to make his Ray’s debut. Arozarena can play all over the outfield with plenty of speed. He missed most of summer camp as he recovered from Covid-19.
The Cubs move for Jose Martinez is clearly a move to upgrade now. He provides a strong bat, especially against lefties, and can lengthen the lineup.
The Rays build up their farm system with the ability to possibly move more pieces to become buyers before Monday’s deadline. Rays have other options to fill in Jose’s spot in the lineup.
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