UPDATE: The deal is now official. Martin and right-hander Anthony Bass have been traded to Seattle while Texas will receive Wilhelmsen, outfielder James Jones, and a player to be named later.
5:48 p.m. ET: After being connected to various center fielders on the trade and free agent markets, Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that the Mariners are set to acquire Leonys Martin from the Rangers. Tom Wilhelmsen will head to Texas in what Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News hears is a five-player deal.
Martin fell out of favor in Texas this season by batting just .219/.264/.313 with five home runs and 25 RBI over 95 games. Delino DeShields, Jr. ended up taking his starting job in center field and Martin hurt his standing further with the organization by refusing to report to the instructional league after he was left off the Rangers’ postseason roster. Still, he’s a very good defender and offers plenty of speed on the bases. He hit well against right-handed pitching in 2013 and 2014, so he’s a nice buy-low for Seattle. Martin will be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter.
Wilhelmsen, 31, owns a 2.67 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in 110 appearances over the past two seasons. Most of it has been in a set-up role, but he saved 13 saves down the stretch this season. He earned $1.4 million in 2015 and is under team control through 2017.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.