Ketel Marte trade speculation: Arizona Diamondbacks star listed as top MLB trade candidate – AZCentral.com

There was some speculation before the 2021 MLB trade deadline that the Arizona Diamondbacks could trade star Ketel Marte.

Speculation has returned in the 2021 MLB offseason.

Earlier this month, CBS Sports compiled a list of baseball’s Top 20 trade candidates this offseason and Marte wasn’t just on the list, he was ranked No. 1 on it as the most likely to be moved.

Mike Axisa wrote: “After losing 110 games this season and 35 games during the shortened 60-game season a year ago, nothing can be off the table for the D-Backs, who don’t exactly seem poised for a quick turnaround in the rugged NL West. Marte is one of the most valuable trade commodities in the game given his play and affordable contract. This is as team friendly as it gets: 2022: $8 million 2023: $10 million club option ($1 million buyout) 2024: $12 million club option ($1.5 million buyout) That is at most $30 million for Marte’s age 28-30 seasons. An absolute steal. Also, Marte can play center field or second base, though hamstring trouble led the D-Backs to playing him more at second down the stretch. Playing the infield might be the best way to keep Marte on the field going forward. Either way, he’s in his prime and capable of playing a premium position.”

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Would Arizona trade Marte? He hit .318 for the Diamondbacks last season, with 14 home runs and 50 RBIs in 90 games played.

The Diamondbacks have consistently said that they have no plans to trade Marte, and reiterated that stance at the MLB GM meetings earlier this month.

That hasn’t stopped the speculation surrounding Marte to continue, although the odds of Arizona dealing Marte have to be considered very slim at best.

Axisa listed the Houston Astros, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees as potential trade suitors for Marte “just for starters.”

He wrote: “The D-Backs resisted trading Marte at the deadline, though it has been a few months since then, and with more time to evaluate the roster (and the uphill climb they face in the division), the club may consider putting him on the market this offseason. If nothing else, there’s no harm in listening, and I’m certain more a few contenders would come calling with big prospect offers.”

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Fansided recently speculated that Marte would be a perfect trade target for the Seattle Mariners, the team that traded Marte to Arizona in 2016.

Connor Tweet wrote: “As for the Diamondbacks’ asking price for Marte – it could be considerably high. Marte is on an ultra-team friendly contract, as he’s only owed $8 million next year, then club options are in place for 2023 and 2024 at $10 million and $12 million respectively. For a team that desires a competitive window for the next several years (such as the Mariners), that contract is about as attractive as it gets.”

The New York Daily News speculated that the Yankees could target Marte in a trade.

Matthew Roberson wrote: “Ketel Marte and Willson Contreras could be the answer to the Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez dilemmas that sprung up last season. Once considered foundational pieces of the Yankees’ future, both Torres and Sanchez have played their way into the doghouse. Marte only has one more year of guaranteed employment before the Diamondbacks’ club option rolls around. If Arizona anticipates another non-competitive season from hell in 2022, they’d be wise to get something back for Marte before it’s too late.”

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CBS Sports mentioned Marte as a home-run swing for the Los Angeles Angels.

Matt Snyder wrote: “The trade market could also be explored. Perhaps the home run swing is for Diamondbacks star Ketel Marte, putting him at second and Fletcher at short, would work.”

SI.com speculated about how the Royals could pry Marte away from the Diamondbacks

Jerry Edwards wrote: “No matter how you slice it, Marte would be an upgrade over (Whit) Merrifield for the Royals in about every way possible outside of defense. Age-wise, Marte is five years younger than Merrifield. Contract-wise, he’s under control for longer than Merrifield and will make less money in 2023 than he will. Finally, offensively, there is no real contest. When healthy, Marte has proven to be one of the best overall hitters in baseball, putting up an OPS of over .900 twice in the past three years.”

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Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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