Red Sox should target Marlins star Starling Marté at the trade deadline
Red Sox need outfield help and Starling Marté is the answer
The trade deadline is fast approaching despite it still being well over a month away on the calendar. Unlike last season where the Red Sox were holding the biggest garage sale on the block, it looks like they’re going to be buyers in this year’s window. There aren’t many spots in the lineup that truly need a boost outside of the bullpen, but as far as the field is concerned, centerfield is in trouble.
I think we all knew that with the departure of Jackie Bradley Jr. before the season that the area he once patrolled was going to be a bit of a headache for Alex Cora. While the defensive side of things hasn’t seen as abysmal of a mess as I would’ve expected, the offense is a black hole. There needs to be some jumper cables attached to that spot in the batting order and a charge sent on through. After a recent visit from the Miami Marlins, a certain player caught my eye, Starling Marté.
Marté is a soon-to-be free agent and per MLB Trade Rumors, he could be on the move come deadline time. The outfielder is set to make $12.5M this season and if we know anything about the Marlins, they don’t want to pay that tab. During the past three-game series that saw Miami come to Fenway Park, Starling was the player to watch. Whether it be in the field or at the plate, he was electric against the Red Sox.
Let’s take a look at the numbers. In those three games, Starling posted an insane .500/.615/1.000/1.615 line with two doubles, a homer, and a stolen base. The homer came off of Nick Pivetta and he launched it to the freaking moon. Though he’s only played in 25 games this season his totals are just as nuts.
In 109 plate appearances, he’s hitting .341/.440/.560/1.001 with six doubles, four homers, 11 RBI, and 14 walks. He’s been around for less than half the season but I’ve seen enough to decide that I want him in my lineup.
The Red Sox have posted Kiké Hernández in centerfield for the lion’s share of the campaign at 34 games started. Alex Verdugo has had the other majority with 21 games started despite being far better in the corner outfield spots. Dugie is more than safe in this scenario as he brings so much to this team his role will never be in question unless an unforeseen situation arises.
Hernández also won’t lose his job but I think he would be better in the true utility role and not an everyday player. While he can have good games he more often than not leaves plenty to be desired with his .232/.286/.384/.671 slash.
Dropping Kiké to a more utility role to cover off days would be in the best interest of the Red Sox while they look for a true everyday centerfielder. Marté has a .985 Fld% in center compared to Hernández’s .984 and Verdugo’s .976. So a large upgrade over Dugie with just a slight edge over Kiké. Where he instantly makes the impact is in the batter’s box and he smokes Boston’s current offering by miles. I’m a big fan of Hernández but I feel that he isn’t an everyday guy with this team.
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As for what Bloom could send to Miami for Marté that’s where things get a bit tricky. Considering Starling will be a free agent at the end of the season and I doubt Chaim would want to offer a soon-to-be 33-year-old player anything beyond a one-year extension, I don’t think he’s going to give up much. Looking at the minors and the current crop of guys the only one that really sticks out is Michael Chavis.
It feels clear that he may not be fitting in with Bloom’s vision for this team going forward based on his usage this season. But Chavis offers a lot, especially if he can figure out to either hit or lay off the high fastball, to any team he joins. Could he do a bundle of lower-end prospects to bring Marté over, sure, but that seems far-fetched for Chaim as well. I like Chavis and have since his debut in 2019, but he has deficiencies that are more than glaring and he doesn’t seem to be getting any better at those holes in his game. It may be time to cut bait on the Ice Horse.
The Red Sox have a serious chance at making it to the postseason in 2021 and they’ll need all the weapons they can get. While much of the lineup is performing and getting the job done they could use a shot in the arm as far as centerfield is concerned. Adding Starling Marté could add a spark that could jumpstart this team to the next level. Adding his bat to the already white-hot Boston offense could be something special to watch. With the team definitely buying this summer, it’ll be interesting to see how Chaim Bloom wheels and deals.