MLB

MLB rumors: Phillies in ‘very hot’ market for Starling Marte

Starling Marte
Starling Marte
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Phillies are going to be sizable players in the free-agent market when it comes to outfielders.

Both Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera are not returning, creating sizable holes in both left and center field while Bryce Harper has right field covered for the next decade.

President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski had already tipped his hand that those outfield spots are atop his checklist of things to address this offseason — and now it’s becoming clear that the Phillies are at least considering one of the best center fielders available this winter.

MLB insider Jon Heyman reported on Thursday that the Phillies are one of the suitors in a “very hot” market for veteran Starling Marte.

They’re hardly alone, as Heyman added that the Yankees, Mets, Astros, Rangers, Marlins, and “many others” are also in the mix, too.

Marte, 33, is coming off one of his finest seasons as a pro. During his time with the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics, he slashed .310/.383/.458 with 42 extra-base hits, 55 RBI, and 47 stolen bases.

His age won’t necessarily help his case for a big-time contract in free agency, but Marte has been one of the more steady, top-of-the-order guys in baseball. Since the 2013 season, he’s slashed .290/.347/.451 (.799 OPS) with 162-game averages of 18 home runs, 72 RBI, and 42 stolen bases.

His presence would provide a considerable boost to a Phillies offense that was a middle-of-the-road team when it came to their on-base percentage. In 2021, their team OBP was 1 point higher (.318) than the league average.

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