Marte, party of two...
[MLB Trade Rumors] Pirates Trade Starling Marte To Diamondbacks - That 2019 downturn notwithstanding, Marte now seems poised to step into an everyday center field role in Arizona, thus allowing rising star Ketel Marte to settle in at second base on a full-time basis. The pair would anchor a revamped Arizona lineup that has already gained Kole Calhoun and Stephen Vogt this winter. Marte — the prospective new acquisition, that is — is earning $11.5MM in 2020. Because Pittsburgh is paying $1.5MM of that sum, he’ll tack another $10MM onto the 2020 payroll for the D-backs. He’s controllable for another season through a $12.5MM club option that can alternatively be bought out for $1MM buyout.
[The Athletic] The Diamondbacks paid the prospect cost for Starling Marte. But will he turn them into a contender? - Surrendering Peguero and Malone was “painful to some level,” Hazen said, but the GM managed to hold on to his very best prospects. The Pirates are in desperate need of catching help, but top prospect Daulton Varsho — a player who, unlike the two 19-year-olds, could help the Diamondbacks in the majors as soon as this season — did not change zip codes. Malone is an exciting, projectable starting pitcher, but Arizona’s system is rich with young starter prospects. Peguero has a chance to be an everyday shortstop, but the same is true (and perhaps truer) of Geraldo Perdomo, who is older, closer to the majors and more highly regarded.
[Sporting News] Starling Marte trade analysis: Diamondbacks boost offense; Pirates improve farm | - Marte, 31, is no longer the type of player to single-handedly change the course of a team's fortunes. For an Arizona group that won 85 games in 2019, though, he could be an important ingredient in a potential 90-win campaign and wild card berth. The Diamondbacks have strong competition for one of those postseason spots: Cincinnati and San Diego are trending upward, and the NL East features at least three legitimate contenders. Based on this deal, they still seem to believe wholeheartedly in their chances of making it to October.
[Arizona Sports] GM Hazen confident about 'stronger' D-backs team after Marte trade - General manager Mike Hazen sounds mighty happy with the work he’s done this winter. “We feel like we are stronger,” he said on a conference call Monday. "We think we have a very deep roster at this point. I think our pitching staff is deeper with a little bit more experience top to bottom. I think our bullpen is going to be stronger and deeper. That’s always something we need to address every season. I think our lineup is better. It’s going to have more depth 1-9.”
[ESPN Insider] How Starling Marte trade turns D-backs into threat to Dodgers' NL West reign - The key players other than Gallen are all in their primes -- and Gallen is already viewed as a polished pitcher. It's not a young team itching to improve -- it's a team that should be ready to make a run at the playoffs. Of course, the big, bad Dodgers stand in their way, and even with a quiet offseason the Dodgers will and should remain heavy favorites in the NL West. But don't be surprised if we see a scenario develop like in 2018, when the Dodgers needed Game 163 to beat the Rockies for the division title. Maybe the Diamondbacks will end the Dodgers' seven-year grip on the top slot in the West.
[CBSSports.com] Padres still pushing for Mookie Betts trade; Mets thought Starling Marte ask was too steep - The Red Sox are -- in defiance of common sense and a basic obligation to winning baseball -- willing to listen to trade offers for Mookie Betts, who at age 27 is already one of the top players in franchise history. The Padres and Dodgers are known to be interested, and talks with the Padres in particular seem to be reasonably advanced. On that front, here's the Monday update from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune: "Myers is owed $61 million over the next three seasons, and the Red Sox are offering to assume about half that. Sources said the Padres would prefer to eat only about a quarter of the money owed Myers in order to take on Betts' salary."
[ESPN] Sources: Similar to NFL officials, MLB umpires could get mic'd up - Much like NFL referees have done for years, umpires could be mic'd up and announce whether reviewed calls are upheld or overturned... If the technical aspects can be worked out and the umps are comfortable with the concept, they could be mic'd up sometime this year. Both sides say there's lots of work to do, making it uncertain whether this could be in place by Opening Day on March 26. "I feel like getting more information on replay reviews would be great. Being able to hear what they see/say about the play will provide a better explanation of the call, which will be very beneficial for both sides," Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Stephen Vogt said.
There is a growing belief amongst NL GM’s that the DH will be instituted for NL as early as 2021. FWIW.— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) January 27, 2020
And Adam Jones arrived in Japan. It seems to have been quite the event...