The Pittsburgh Pirates Have Traded Starling Marte to the Arizona Dbacks
After months of speculation, the Pittsburgh Pirates have finally traded their longest tenured player. Starling Marte has been traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Ben Cherington has completed his first major transaction as the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He has shipped Starling Marte to Arizona in exchange for right-handed pitcher Brennan Malone, infielder Liover Peguero and international bonus money. Jon Heyman was first to mention that the trade was agreed upon.
Marte, who has been with the Pirates since making his debut against the Astros in 2012, where he hit a leadoff homer off of Dallas Keuchel on the first pitch he ever saw in the big leagues .
Marte is coming off of a year where he slashed .295/.324/.503 including a career high in homeruns (23) and RBI (82) while also adding 25 steals. Marte was an all-star for the Bucs in 2016 and was a two-time gold glove winner in Pittsburgh.
Brennan Malone was the 33rd overall selection in last year’s draft by Arizona. He has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s consistently while also having a plus slider to complement his fastball. He also offers a curveball and changeup that are currently graded as average pitches with the potential to improve.
Liover Peguero was signed out of the Dominican Republic and just turned 19 last month. He has a breakout season in 2019 having hit .326 with an .866 OPS between rookie league and low-A ball. MLB Pipeline grades Peguero as having an above average bat, glove, arm and speed and is projected to stay at shortstop if needed. He lacks some in the power department but with plus-bat speed, his power can improve as he matures.
Starling Marte will go down as one of the better players in Pirates history. His time in Pittsburgh should be remembered for his stellar defense and his ability to change the game at the plate and on the base paths.
It is always sad to see a player of Marte’s caliber go, but the Pirates are receiving pieces in return that will help the future of the organization.
While fans may be slightly disappointed in the return, it is important to remember Marte is on the wrong side of 30 with a long history of injuries. Arizona’s farm system is also one of the 3-5 best and deepest in baseball.
This is the first real step in Cherington’s rebuild of the organization. Time will tell how far that rebuild will go, but the groundwork has been laid.