The Arizona Diamondbacks — employer of All-Star Ketel Marte — acquired Starling Marte and cash considerations from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for infielder Liover Peguero and right-handed pitcher Brennan Malone. Making it a Marte par-tay in Phoenix.
Starling Marte is coming off a .295/.342/.503 season in which he hit 23 homers and stole 25 bases while manning center field for the Buccos. Center is where Ketel played most of last season, but with Starling on the roster, Ketel will likely move back to second base.
Heading back to Pittsburgh, prospects Liover Peguero and Brennan Malone, each of whom are generally considered to be top-10-ish prospects for Pittsburgh, but not likely top-5-ish. They’ll rank higher in the Pirates’ thinner farm system. Peguero is a shortstop who just turned 19 and hasn’t played above A-ball. Malone, also 19, is a righty pitcher who was the 33rd overall selection in last year’s draft.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi told reporters today that Andrew McCutchen will not be ready to play to start the season. McCutchen is still recovering from the ACL tear he suffered last year. Girardi said that McCutchen hasn’t suffered a setback, but is simply not on a timetable that would allow him to play on Opening Day.
Obviously, this is a bit of a blow for the Phillies. McCutchen isn’t the MVP-level player he once ways, but he’s still a difference-maker and can be a spark plug for an offense. He was off to a .256/.378/.457 start in his 262 plate appearances before the injury struck. His continued stint on the injured list opens up everyday at-bats for Jay Bruce, whom the Phillies traded for during the 2019 season to help fill the hole caused by McCutchen’s injury. Bruce moving up the depth chart opens up a roster spot for someone like Neil Walker, Nick Martini or Kyle Garlick to make the team.
Girardi said that the Phillies expect McCutchen back at some point in April, so he hopefully won’t be on the shelf too much longer. Still, it stinks that we’re going to have wait longer for one of the more fun players in baseball to suit up again.