Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Starling Marte and the Atlanta Braves

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates have yet to trade their most valuable asset in Starling Marte.  Could they be waiting for the Braves to call?

Many Pittsburgh Pirates fans are anxiously awaiting the news that Starling Marte has been traded.  During the Winter Meetings, it seemed like a Marte trade was very close to happening. However, here we are on Christmas Eve and Marte remains part of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.

There was one note dropped by an Atlanta Brave Beat writer that could help clarify what is going on with Starling Marte.  David O’Brien, the Braves Beat Writer for The Athletic, tweeted that the Atlanta Braves may show interest in Starling Marte depending on what happens with another player:

Is this what could be holding up a potential Starling Marte trade?  Normally the answer would be no, however, the Atlanta Braves would represent a reason to hold off.  They have one of, if not the, top farm systems in baseball.  They also have numerous top catching and pitching prospects, some of which are MLB ready, that they could offer in return for Marte.

The thought process for the Atlanta Braves is if they can bring back Josh Donaldson, then that gives them a productive right-handed bat.  Also, this would allow them to keep former top prospect Austin Riley in the outfield.  This is where Marte comes into play.  If the Braves miss out on Donaldson, then they will be in the market for a right-handed bat.  They then can move Riley to his primary position, which is third base, and would need another outfielder Marte.

The Winter Meetings had a lot of rumors about the Pittsburgh Pirates and they were mainly around Starling Marte.  It seemed like the rumors were heading toward a trade, but nothing ever materialized, so when will a deal happen?

Maybe Ben Cherington is trying to play the market.  He might be waiting to see where all the elite free agent hitting talent winds up so he can field offers from teams who missed out on the free agents.  The Braves having such a good farm system would be a team to wait on.

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It will be interesting to see where Donaldson ends up and how much that could actually impact a potential Marte trade.  Either way, the offseason does not have a trade deadline so they have plenty of time to work on finding the right deal.