Starling Marte for Mets No. 8 prospect INF Shervyen Newton and No. 26 prospect RHP Christian James
One of the best defensive players at his position, Starling Marte would instantly be an upgrade for the Mets outfield, which is currently lacking the balance you would expect from a Major League club. They do not have a true centerfielder and have been utilizing a ‘quick-fix’ approach by mixing and matching corner outfielders and infielders to guard the dimensions of Citi Field.
In Marte’s case, he currently finds himself on a Pittsburgh Pirates team that is in desperate need of a rebuild, and is already taking steps toward that long and arduous process. Consequently, he would be a valuable trade chip for the Pirates to deal before the spring in exchange for prospects, which is something that the Mets can accommodate.
No. 8 Mets prospect INF Shervyen Newton (age 20) is said to have great hands for the left side and middle of the diamond and excellent discipline at the plate. Meanwhile, No. 26 prospect RHP Christian James (age 21) is best known for his ability to sequence his pitches and locate his low 90s fastball with sink action in addition to his other late-breaking pitches.
It’s a competitive package on the Mets part for an outfielder moving towards the end of his prime. If this deal were agreed to, Marte would be owed $11.5 million in 2020, due to the Pirates’ recent decision to pick up his club option for next season, with another club option forthcoming for the 2021 season. This package is just above the $9 million the Mets were willing to pay Todd Frazier last season, which indicates that this is a typical salary range that ownership appears to be comfortable offering veteran players.
Moreover, due to this hypothetical increase to their 2020 payroll, the Mets potential addition of Marte should not affect any other plans to add serious payroll, which both Van Wagenen and Jeff Wilpon have hinted at their openness to doing.
Overall, the benefit of this type of move for the Mets lies in receiving a former 2016 All-Star and Gold Glove recipient, in addition to gaining his steady offensive production at the plate, as he batted .295/.342/.503 this past season.