CLEVELAND-- With the MLB trade deadline less 90 minutes away, the deal of the day (so far) for the Cleveland Indians was trading for Tigers center fielder Leonys Martin in exchange for shortstop prospect Willi Castro.
So what does this move mean for the Indians as they inch closer to another postseason run? Here are three things to know about their newest addition in the outfield.
1. Martin is a defensive upgrade
With Bradley Zimmer out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery, the Indians are seriously lacking depth at center field.
The good news is, Martin has been having a solid year for the Tigers, particularly concerning his defensive numbers. He has three defensive runs saved this season. He also has nine assists from center field, tied for third in Major League Baseball and first in the American League. Since 2013, his 59 outfield assists are tied for second-most in baseball.
Needless to say, while some fans may be worried that his offensive numbers aren't exactly flashy, having him in the outfield defensively will help provide the Tribe with more stability than they've had this season.
2. Offensively, he will help the bottom of the Indians lineup
The 30 year old is slashing .251/.321/.409 in 2018. He's also contributed nine home runs, 27 total extra-base hits, 29 RBI and seven stolen bases.
Yeah, that doesn't necessarily compete with what the top of the Indians order has done this year.
But with those numbers, Martin will certainly help to bring some offensive consistency to the bottom third of the Tribe lineup. As MLB.com's Jordan Bastian pointed out, he may not be a "wow move," but he is one that makes sense-- especially against right-handed pitchers.
3. He has multiple years of control
Martin fits a pattern that has been characteristic of most of the deals the Tribe has made over the last few years: he has multiple years of control remaining on his current contract.
The newest member of the Tribe is under contract this season for $1.75 million. He also has another year of arbitration eligibility remaining.
Just like he provides more stability on the field, Martin gives the Tribe more stability heading into 2019, especially considering that Lonnie Chisenhall will be a free agent this offseason, and Zimmer's timetable to return is 8 to 12 months.