The Padres have their sights set on on a bona fide superstar, Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts, and they’ve also been connected to Pirates center fielder Starling Marte in trade rumors this offseason. At this point, though, it doesn’t appear a Marte deal will come together between the Padres and Pirates. The teams’ talks “have cooled, likely over the asking price,” Dennis Lin of The Athletic writes (subscription link).
Marte’s not the player Betts is (few are), but that’s not to say he isn’t plenty valuable in his own right. In fact, the 31-year-old has been one of the majors’ top center fielders throughout his career. Marte totaled at least 3.0 fWAR for the sixth time in his seven full seasons last year, posted his second straight 20-20 campaign (23 home runs, 25 stolen bases) and slashed .295/.342/.503 over 586 plate appearances.
Despite Marte’s perennial effectiveness, there is a case that the Pirates and new general manager Ben Cherington should sell him sooner than later….