According to a report the Pittsburgh Pirates have picked up the 2020 option for center fielder Starling Marte
Now that the World Series is over, the Major League Baseball offseason is ready to kick off. One of the first moves of each offseason is team’s deciding if they will pick up team options that players have or not. This offseason, the Pittsburgh Pirates have two options they needed to make decisions on.
The two Pirate players that have team options this offseason are center fielder Starling Marte and starting pitcher Chris Archer. Even though the team does not currently have a general manager, moves will still be made. One of these has come as the team plans to pick up Marte’s option.
The news that the team plans on picking up their star center fielder’s option was reported on Thursday by MLB Network’s Jon Hyeman.
As Heyman points out, picking up Marte’s option was a no brainer. Marte’s option is for $11.5 million, which is not an expensive deal at all for a player of his caliber.
This offseason Marte is likely to be the center of many trade rumors. There is a good chance the Pirates new general manager will be looking to rebuild and the team’s best trade chip is Marte. Even though he has just two years of team control remaining on his contract, Marte should still have plenty of trade value.
Last season Marte slashed .295/.342/.503 in 132 games. His .503 slugging percentage was a new career high, as were his 23 home runs, 60 extra base hits and .208 ISO. He also stole 20+ bases for the seventh consecutive season.
The one knock on Marte is, and always has been, the ability to stay healthy. Marte played in 153 games in 2015 and 145 games in 2018, other than those two seasons he has never played in more than 135 games in a season.
Despite being shutdown last September Marte put together one of the best seasons of his career. He finished the season with a 3.0 fWAR, marking his sixth season out of seven full MLB seasons, with at least a 3.0 fWAR. Prior to being shutdown due to injury, he was on pace to post a 3.7 fWAR which would have been the third best of his career.