After a month-and-a-half of no news, things are starting to pick up for the San Diego Padres with another rumor about trading for an outfielder.
With just a month to go before Spring Training games begin, and even less before San Diego Padres pitchers and catchers report, the trade market is starting to pick up.
We knew this would happen once the big name free agents who were left came off the board. And now with Josh Donaldson going to the Minnesota Twins and Marcell Ozuna signing with the Atlanta Braves, the trade market is taking shape.
Nicholas Castellanos is the only impact free agent left available and his market is most likely limited to American League teams.
On Thursday we got news that the Padres and Red Sox have discussed a possible trade for Mookie Betts.
In that report from Dennis Lin of The Athletic (subscription required) he stated that talks with outfielder Starling Marte have “cooled” based on the Pittsburgh Pirates asking price.
But today (Friday) we got a report from Jon Heyman saying that talks for Marte have intensified and he listed the New York Mets and Padres as teams who are interested.
Now, I’m made it known on here before that Heyman isn’t the best source of information and constantly throws things against the wall hoping something sticks. Apparently I’ve bad-mouthed him enough that he’s blocked me on Twitter.
But it does make sense that Marte talks would be picking up now that the free agent market is depleted and we’re less than a month away from Spring Training.
I’ve been talking about Marte all offseason and think he would be a great pick-up for San Diego … if you’re going to put him in right field. He’s not a center fielder at this point and I fear the Padres view him as one.
But still, you know he’s going to give you a 3 WAR season wherever he plays and he would certainly make this a more potent offense.
Here is the mock trade I proposed for Marte earlier this offseason.
In reality, if the Padres really wanted Marte all they’d have to do is give the Pirates Luis Campusano.
Pittsburgh has made it be known they’re looking for a young, controllable catcher in any trade for Marte.
Campusano was just recently ranked as the seventh best catching prospect in all of baseball and the Padres could probably trade him straight up for Marte who has two years left before becoming a free agent.
But it sounds like San Diego is unwilling to do that and are probably trying to find another package that works. Perhaps they’d rather move Francisco Mejia?
The Padres would likely have to move some money in this deal or in a separate deal as Marte is going to make $11.5 million in 2020 and San Diego is already over their expected budget for 2020.
Marte is the most likely player to be traded before the season starts as it makes no sense for the rebuilding Pirates to keep him. If the Padres want him they have the resources to make it happen.