The Phillies might not only just have taken three of four games from the Miami Marlins. They could potentially be taking their center fielder as well.
After reports emerged that veteran outfielder Starling Marte and the Marlins have broken off negotiations for a contract extension that would avoid him becoming a free agent this winter, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that the Phillies are among three teams that have already checked in on the 32-year-old.
The others include the New York Yankees and Houston Astros.
In the final year of his deal, Marte continues to be a valuable top-of-the-order contributor in Miami, slashing .285/.387/.444 (.831 OPS) with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 56 games. Those numbers are consistent with the kind of output he’s had over his first nine years in the majors, possessing a .285 career average, and .793 OPS to go with 162-game averages of 18 home runs and 71 RBI.
There’s also been a considerable boost in his defense with three defensive runs saved in 480.1 innings played in center field this season.
Marte’s presence in Philadelphia would certainly provide some much-needed stability at a position in which the Phillies have had anything but that in recent years.
The Phillies have already trotted out seven different players in center field this season, most recently rolling with the platoon of Odubel Herrera and Travis Jankowski.
They’ve provided a minor upgrade compared to what the team has gotten from the likes of Roman Quinn and Luke Williams.
Adding another weapon like Marte to the Phillies’ ranks not only indicates that this is a team that will be going for it this season, but it will put that much more pressure on their division rivals.
With an off night on Monday, the Phillies were just two games back of the NL East-leading Mets as the only two teams in the division with records over .500.
The Mets continue to deal with an onslaught of injuries that will see them head to market, so the only way the Phillies will be able to keep up is by making a few major moves of their own.
Marte would certainly be such a move.