The Mets somewhat addressed their need in center field last week when they acquired Jake Marisnick from the Astros, but they may not be done yet. New York remains in the mix to swing a trade for Pirates center fielder Starling Marte, per reports from Andy Martino of SNY and Jon Heyman of MLB Network. The club’s “working on” a Marte acquisition, according to Martino.
As one of the most valuable center fielders in baseball, Marte’s appeal is obvious. The fact that there’s a dearth of proven center fielders available in free agency should only add to his attractiveness on the trade market. He’s under control at more-than-reasonable prices for the next two seasons (including for a guaranteed $11.5MM in 2020 and a $12.5MM club option in ’21), so the Pirates don’t have to deal him. However, considering they appear unlikely to push for a playoff spot next season, there’s a case that it would make sense for the Bucs to sell off the 31-year-old this winter. For his part, new general manager Ben Cherington is reportedly open to fielding offers for Marte.
Should the Mets end up with Marte, it would add to an already crowded group of outfield-capable players for the team. Marisnick, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis and Yoenis Cespedes (if he returns from injury) are on hand as prominent players who have lined up in the grass. However, the Mets are “open” to parting with Nimmo to somewhat alleviate the logjam, per Martino. They shouldn’t have a tough time finding a taker for the 26-year-old, as he’s a quality major league hitter with three seasons of control remaining and is only projected to earn $1.7MM in 2020.