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As expected, Phillies are players for Starling Marte

Starling Marte is a coveted free agent. (Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Phillies, per Jon Heyman of Audacy Sports, are interested in free-agent outfielder Starling Marte.

This was an expected development, given that the biggest need on the Phillies roster may be in center field. Odúbel Herrera was recently outrighted and elected free agency, and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski cast doubt this week on whether Mickey Moniak or Adam Haseley is in the team’s plans to open the 2022 season.

While the New York Mets, San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees are among the teams that could also be suitors for Marte, I projected that the Phillies would sign Marte to a four-year/$72 million deal in my free agent predictions for Audacy Sports.

The Phillies need a starting center fielder and a leadoff hitter, roles that Marte could potentially fill. In a season split between the Miami Marlins and Oakland Athletics, Marte slashed .308/.381/.456 with 12 home runs, 55 RBIs, 43 walks, 47 stolen bases and a 5.4 fWAR.

Additionally, because Marte was traded during the season, the A’s couldn’t extend a qualifying offer to him. So to sign Marte, the Phillies wouldn’t have to surrender any draft compensation.

Marte isn’t a perfect free agent, as he recently turned 33. He had five outs above average in center field with the Marlins this past season, but -2 during his time with the A’s. Marte is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, but there’s a very real possibility that he’ll have to shift to a corner outfield spot at some point during his contract. The question is whether that would be the second year of a deal, or the fourth.


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