NEW YORK — The Yankees have reportedly checked in with the Miami Marlins on what it would take to acquire center fielder Starling Marte, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
Since Aaron Hicks went down with a season-ending injury months ago, it's been clear that the Yankees would benefit from adding a center fielder before this year's Trade Deadline.
Brett Gardner has filled in at the position most of the time, while Aaron Judge has slid over to help out on occasion and give the 37-year-old some days off.
With the Deadline looming less than two weeks away, and New York hovering just above .500, showing interest in Marte is a sign that buying isn't out of the question for this team.
Marte could stick around in Miami, if the Marlins extend him, but it looks like the outfielder isn't staying. SportsGrid's Craig Mish tweeted Sunday night that negotiations over an extension between Marte and the Marlins have officially ended. That means the organization can now focus solely on fielding trade proposals from other teams.
According to Heyman, the Yankees aren't alone in their pursuit of Marte. Teams like the Phillies and Astros are among those that have also reached out of late.
Adding Marte to the Yankees' lineup would be a massive boost. Even after the Yankees work through this COVID-19 outbreak—impacting players like Judge—they'll still need reinforcements to make up for a lack of production at the position.
Besides, the likes of Clint Frazier, Miguel Andújar and more are still on the injured list. Speedster Tim Locastro could've been an option at the position, but he's headed to the injured list as well after tearing his right ACL on Saturday night.
The question is, how much would the Yankees be willing to give up to get Marte? Sitting seven games back after Sunday night's improbable win over the Red Sox, it's still unclear if this team is going to be a buyer or seller prior to the Deadline (on July 30).
The other factor to consider is the fact that Marte is a rental. The outfielder is a free agent after the end of this season, so unless New York endeavors to keep him around on a long-term deal, the prospects sent to Miami would be for just a few months of Marte's services.
Either way, it's certainly tempting to consider for New York, if the price is right. Marte would provide quality defense in the outfield, some speed on the base paths and pop at the plate. Through 58 games this year, Marte is hitting .285 (59-for-207) with 49 runs, 22 RBI, 19 steals and seven home runs.
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