Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Potential Landing Spots for Starling Marte

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The next two teams are American League teams and somewhat wild cards.  The first American League team that could be interested in Marte is the Oakland Athletics.  Oakland is the team that has been on the cusp of making a true playoff push the last two seasons and is missing that dynamic player on offense. And even with the A’s being a small-market team, Marte has a relatively team-friendly contract the next two years being at $23 million, and therefore should be more than affordable for the Oakland Athletics.

As of now, the Athletics currently deploy Ramon Laureano in centerfield and he is considered one of the better defenders in baseball.  But this may work to the Pittsburgh Pirates advantage.  Marte has rated better as a left fielder in his career than in centerfielder according to advanced defensive metrics.  The Oakland A’s currently do not have a clear cut starter in left field and Stephen Piscotty, who is in right, had a bit of an up and down year in 2019.

Oakland’s top two prospects are likely off the table in trade talks.  Jesus Luzardo and AJ Puk are two of the top three left-handed pitching prospects in baseball and will not be moved by the small market Athletics.  Their number three prospect is catcher Sean Murphy.  If the Oakland A’s want an affordable star outfielder, Murphy would have to be the centerpiece of the trade.  Murphy ranks as a top 50 prospects in baseball and would allow the A’s to give up some lesser secondary pieces being he is MLB ready.

The Athletics could also offer former Yankees prospect Jorge Mateo, who is a centerfielder at Triple-A and had a nice season last year batting .289 with a .330 on-base percentage and a .504 slugging percentage.  They also have two former first-round picks who rank as their number 13 and number 14 prospects and are starting pitchers; either James Kaprielian and Grant Holmes could be a target in a deal as well.