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Pirates Trade Starling Marte To Diamondbacks

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  • Pirates Trade Starling Marte To Diamondbacks

    The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that they’ve acquired outfielder Starling Marte from the Pirates. High-upside youngsters Liover Peguero and Brennan Malone are going back in return, along with $250K in international spending money moving to Pittsburgh. The Pirates will also reportedly pay down $1.5MM of Marte’s remaining obligations.

    In making this swap, the Diamondbacks are adding a consistently above-average offensive performer who is fresh off a robust .295/.342/.503 slash with 23 homers, 31 doubles, six triples and 25 steals in 586 plate appearances in his final season with the Pirates. The 31-year-old Marte has been at least 12 percent better than a league-average hitter in every season dating back to 2013, with the exception of 2017, by measure of wRC+. He doesn’t walk much but also boasts a low strikeout rate (16 percent in 2019) and high-end baserunning value.

    Marte won a pair of Gold Gloves with the Buccos back in 2015-16.

    Marte is earning $11.5MM in 2020. Because Pittsburgh is paying $1.5MM of that sum, he’ll tack another $10MM onto the 2020 payroll for the D-backs. He’s controllable for another season through a $12.5MM club option that can alternatively be bought out for $1MM buyout.

    The 19-year-old Peguero split this past season between the Rookie-level Pioneer League and the short-season Class-A Northwest League, hitting a combined .326/.382/.485 with five homers, 11 doubles, five triples and 11 steals in 249 plate appearances.

    Malone, also 19, was the 33rd overall pick in this past year’s draft. He draws praise for a heater that has topped out at 99 mph, a plus slider and another pair of potentially average offerings in his curve and changeup.