Last week, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a blockbuster trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, it sounds like another team was also in the mix.
Leading up to last week’s inevitable Starling Marte trade, it really seemed like the New York Mets were the team he would end up playing for in 2020. The Pittsburgh Pirates were mainly in talks with New York, but Marte also had some interest from National League West teams such as the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks. As the offseason progressed, it seemed trade talks were more and more narrow and it would eventually conclude with Marte going to New York.
Things took a quick left turn and the Pittsburgh Pirates ended up trading Starling Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks instead of the Mets. The Bucs acquired shortstop Liover Peguero, pitcher Brennan Malone, and International Bonus slot money. The report was that the New York Mets refused to give up two of their top five ranked prospects, which would have been a similar return.
It appears that there was, in fact, another team that was seriously considering a potential trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates but also may have been scared off by the asking price. This past weekend it was reported that the Cleveland Indians were interested in acquiring the talented outfielder. Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com reported that the Indians were, in fact, looking to add Marte despite the Indians looking to cut payroll.
It has been made known that the Indians have been looking to shed payroll this offseason. The team’s Front Office and ownership have talked publicly about the challenges of being in a small market and retaining their star, but expensive players. Most likely Cleveland considered Marte’s modest contract a suitable one to add that wouldn’t have a large impact on their overall payroll for 2020.
It is hard to say what the level of interest the Cleveland Indians had in Marte. Many local fans were disappointed with the return, but national experts thought the deal was fair for both teams. Out of the trade rumors, it seems that at least three teams had strong interest in Marte including the Mets, the Diamondbacks, and the Indians. Of the three, the Pittsburgh Pirates made the best decision by choosing the Diamondbacks, who have the strongest farm system of the three suitors. Hopefully, with the players coming back to Pittsburgh, there will be no regrets looking back on the eventual deal and what deal could have been made.