Mets Reportedly Have Interest in Acquiring Center Fielder Starling Marte From Pirates

Michael Natale

The New York Mets have several needs this offseason, most notably in their bullpen. However, they could potentially be in the market for a center fielder as well. 

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Mets have interest in trading for Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte. 

Marte is coming off of a season in which he had career-highs in home runs (23), RBI (82), and OPS (.845). Heyman also noted that there's uncertainty as to if the Pirates are willing to trade him at this point. 

Marte certainly would fit the need in what the Mets are looking for in a center fielder. He's a right-handed bat and a former Gold Glove Award winner. He would also bring speed to this Mets team on the base-paths. He has 239 stolen bases so far in his eight-year career. 

The question is what will the Pirates be looking for in a trade if they're willing to deal Marte? He is under contract for two more seasons which would increase his value. However, he is 31-years-old, and we're starting to see a trend in baseball where teams do not value players as much once they reach their 30s. But in Marte's case, he seems to be getting better every year. Only time will tell in what their asking price will be. 

For the Mets, it'd make sense to acquire Marte if the price is right. We saw last offseason that general manager Brodie Van Wagenen has no problem making big trades. However, it may be a tough sell to fans to trade off more of the team's farm system for a veteran center fielder. 

There's no denying that Marte would be a perfect fit for the Mets given his bat, speed, and glove. But, the issue is price. Not to mention, the Mets do have outfield depth. With Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes (maybe), J.D. Davis, and Dominic Smith, these are all guys capable of being effective everyday players. The difference is that Marte is more of a traditional center fielder than any of these players. 

It's clear that if this Mets team fills just a few holes, they could end up being serious contenders in 2020. We'll see if they truly believe Starling Marte is a missing piece to this team. If they do acquire him, don't be surprised to see one of Dominic Smith or J.D. Davis traded, because this outfield could get crowded. 

The Mets have some decisions to make this offseason.