Starling Marte will be a member of the New York Mets for the next four years. At least this is what the player and organization have planned. Signed to a four-year deal worth $78 million, it’s a large total for a 33-year-old with only a single All-Star appearance.
But that’s not what defines Marte. He is much better than this. Throughout his decade in Major League Baseball, he has been a near .300 hitter or better with fielding accolades, a vast number of stolen bases, and good run production both in the form of runs scored and RBI.
There’s a lot to like about his addition to the Mets. There is also a reason to believe his contract will age poorly and still like the move.
The Mets signed Starling Marte to help them in the first two years of his deal
I don’t think Marte will steal another 47 bases for the Mets in 2022 like he did with the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics last year. I also won’t count on him to hit .310 or win a Gold Glove. He’s at the expected age of decline for many players regardless of skillset.
My expectations for Marte, however, aren’t poor. I do think he can hit around his career .289/.346/.451 or even better. I do expect his speed to be present. Stealing 30 bases isn’t out of the question.
Finally, I do think he’ll give the Mets a defensive upgrade regardless of the position he plays. He was as near to a “must sign” for the team this winter. What’s not to love?
Eventually, the Starling Marte contract is going to run its course
It happens with nearly every athlete’s contract. Just about every free agent ends up with an extra year or two on their deal earning more than their numbers say they deserve. This is precisely what will likely happen with Marte has he wraps up his career with the Mets.
The AAV just under $20 million could look ridiculous by the end of his contract when he’s a nearing his 37th birthday and playing half of the games in a corner outfield position. We can worry about that in 2026. Over the next two seasons, Marte is going to give the Mets something they haven’t had much of from their outfielders and even their infielders.
Marte has made a career out of stealing bases and hitting for a good average. The Mets, even in their better recent days, haven’t had much success in those two areas. Pitching and occasional clutch hitting from mostly slow guys waiting for the three-run home run have been their strength.
Whether it’s two years or maybe three we get from him, Marte is a great addition I think any fan should like even with the knowledge that the end might not be so pretty.