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Mets: Is Starling Marte the upgrade in center field this team needs?

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 31: Centerfielder Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated in the dugout after scoring in the sixth inning during the game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 31, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 31: Centerfielder Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated in the dugout after scoring in the sixth inning during the game against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 31, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
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Is Starling Marte what the New York Mets need in center field?

After hearing and reading about how Starling Marte wants to play for the New York Mets, I have put much thought into whether he would be a good fit on the 2020 roster. Looking at his 2019 production I do like the slash line of .295/.342/.503/.845 was extremely solid and he has seemed to improve his hitting through the years.

A former Gold-Glover playing LF, he was moved to CF in 2018. After posting solid defensive numbers in 2018, he seemed to regress defensively in 2019 and many people who have watched Marte play over the past 8 years say he is a much better left fielder than center fielder.

With all that being said, and with my preference to play Marte in LF, I then worry about taking at-bats away from core guys including J.D. Davis and Brandon Nimmo. It would be great if Davis can become the everyday third baseman, but most people think he is not good enough defensively to play there and left field does seem to be his best position on the field.

It does create many questions about what the lineup would possibly look like with Marte and it seems that he would be forced in playing most of the time in center field.

Another concern is his PED suspension in 2017. As we have seen with Robinson Cano, once players get caught using PEDs, sometimes they come back a different player with usually less production. This doesn’t seem to be the case with Marte since 2019 was his best offensive year. But with 2019 being one of the best offensive years in the history of baseball, so you never know how that would play out.

So, as I take a look at the roster and depth chart of the 2020 Pittsburgh Pirates, there are some players that we could add to a package with Marte to help complete the 2020 Mets roster.

Pittsburgh Pirates players (other than Starling Marte) that would make sense for the 2020 Mets:

Chris Archer

It wasn’t so long ago that Chris Archer was one of the top up-and-coming starting pitchers in the American League, playing for the Tampa Bay Rays. He was part of a big trade that hasn’t worked out too well for the Pirates as Archer has really struggled since coming to the National League (4.89 ERA / 1.39 WHIP) and Tyler Glasnow and Brian Meadows have excelled in Tampa.

He seems to need a change of scenery in the worst way and why not reset his career in Flushing. Archer may still have good stuff averaging over 10 strikeouts per 9 innings and maybe could benefit with a switch to the bullpen.

Michael Feliz

Still needing another bullpen piece, Michael Feliz does provide another potential power arm to an ever-improving bullpen. His career 4.96 ERA is nothing to write home about, but he improved to a 3.99 ERA in 2019 and lower his WHIP from over 1.500 in 2017-18 to a much workable 1.260 WHIP in 2019.

Also of note, his 7 hits allowed per 9 innings to go along with his 11.7 strikeouts per 9 innings does show he can be dominant coming out of the pen.

Jose Osuna

With MLB implementing the new rule allowing a 26th man on their rosters, teams will be looking to add ultra-versatile players to provide backup to multiple positions, pinch-hitting and pinch-running. Jose Osuna does provide this by having the ability to play first base, third base, left field and right field.

Osuna also had a decent year with the bat in 2019 providing a .264/.310/.456/.766 slash line over 261 at-bats.

With these players under consideration as well, who would the Mets be able to put a package together for a fair deal? Would the Pirates be looking to rebuild their farm system or would they want some major league ready players or both in any trade for Starling Marte?

With the Mets farm system not really being top-notch currently, I don’t really mind adding some prospects to the package going back to the Pirates for a chance to complete the deal and increasing the chances of competing in 2020 and for years to come.

Mets players that I would make available in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates:

Robert Gsellman, Dominic Smith, Andres Gimenez, David Peterson, Andres Regnault, and Mark Vientos

Looking at both teams and the direction of both squads, I think the most realistic trade would be:

To Pittsburgh: Robert Gsellman, Mark Vientos, and Andres Regnault  

To New York: Starling Marte and Michael Feliz

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What do you think would be a reasonable New York Mets/Pittsburgh Pirates trade this offseason?

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