The Cubs are acquiring designated hitter José Martínez from the Rays, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan (Twitter link). Chicago is sending two players to be named later or cash considerations in exchange. Catcher Josh Phegley has been designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Martínez burst onto the scene with the Cubs’ archrival Cardinals between 2017-18, hitting .306/.369/.478 over those two seasons. Since the start of 2019, Martínez has put up a more pedestrian .264/.339/.406 mark split between St. Louis and Tampa Bay, although he’s continued to feast on left-handed pitching in that time.
The Rays just picked Martínez up from St. Louis over the offseason in a trade that sent top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore to the Cardinals and also brought back outfielder Randy Arozarena. He played a little bit of first base in Tampa but will obviously be seen almost exclusively as a DH in Chicago, where Anthony Rizzo has first locked down. Martínez will make just over $320K the rest of this season, followed by two additional years of arbitration control. With Martínez gone, Tampa figures to lean more heavily on Yoshi Tsutsugo and Ji-Man Choi at first base/DH.