Outfielder Starling Marte has been dealt from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Miami Marlins. Marte played only 33 games for the Diamondbacks, after being dealt here from the Pirates in January, in exchange for prospects Brennan Malone, Liover Peguero and international bonus slot money. He had played well during his time here, batting .311 (123 OPS+) and putting up 0,9 bWAR. The team had a $12.5 million contract option on Starling for 2021, but reports indicate they were not intending to pick it up. This may be the clearest signal yet that the team is entering salary-cutting mode, as many have suspected.
According to Jon Heyman, the D-backs will be getting “Caleb Smith, Humberto Mejia and [a] smaller piece” for Marte. John Gambadoro says Julio Frias is coming to Arizona, presumably the smaller piece mentioned. Smith is a left-handed pitcher, who would be under Arizona control through the end of 2023. He turned 29 last month, and has a 4.64 ERA over 252.1 career innings, though only one of those was this year. Mejia is a right-handed starting pitcher, who debuted earlier this year, and has a 5.40 ERA over three starts for Miami. He’s still only 23 years old. Frias is a lot further down the pipeline; in 2019, he made 14 starts in A-ball, but struck out more than a batter per inning, with a 2.83 ERA.
[I almost called him “Startling” Marte in the headline, which has a certain poignancy to it...]