2. Ketel Marte
No, not Bubba Starling. Did we fool you? He recently retired. That’d be a no go.
We’re looking at a Ketel Marte trade, which would leave the Yankees with a viable center fielder/second baseman/roving option, though he’s less than ideal defensively if center is his primary position. Midway through the season, Marte was close to the bottom of the barrel among center fielders in UZR and DRS; his bat is his calling card. Is that the kind of player you want to chuck up the middle into one of the most important defensive positions on the field? With Joey Gallo and Aaron Judge flanking him … maybe?
Two Gold Glove-caliber outfielders plus a struggling center fielder. An odd mix.
The 28-year-old hit 14 bombs with a .318 average and 143 OPS+ on an extremely disappointing Diamondbacks team this year. He’s under contract through 2022 at a bargain (five years, $24 million), with team options following in 2023 and 2024. If the Yankees trade for Marte, they’ll be surrendering a haul, probably clearing out their shortstop logjam at the top of their prospect rankings in the process.
You want to talk about low strikeout totals, too? Marte has never whiffed more than 100 times in a full season. Not even close, in fact. His career high is 86 back in 2019, his fourth-place MVP season that also featured 32 bombs.
If you want the Yanks to get more athletic at the plate and on the base paths, you’ll love a Marte trade. If you want to protect the farm at all costs and would rather prioritize outfield defense in your massive overpay, this won’t be the deal for you. With Arizona still firmly in the dumps, this is worth a call, though.
If you prefer sterling center field defense but want to take a much different variety of risk, we’ve got another trade option for you, though …