Mets reportedly sign notable Phillies target Starling Marte

The New York Mets made a big splash on Black Friday, signing three position players to multi-year deals. The biggest deal of the day came just before midnight when Jon Heyman of Audacy Sports reported that the Mets were closing in on signing free agent center fielder Starling Marte. The deal is reportedly worth $78 million over four years.

Starling Marte has reportedly signed with the New York Mets. (Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

Before landing Marte, the Mets reportedly signed infielder Eduardo Escobar to a two-year, $20 million deal and outfielder Mark Canha to a two-year, $26.5 million deal.

Marte, 33, was the top center fielder on the free agent market. Through 120 games with the Marlins and Athletics in 2021, Marte slashed .310/.383/.458 with 12 home runs, 55 RBIs and 47 stolen bases. He was among the top defensive center fielders in baseball last season according to Statcast’s outs above average.

In 80 plate appearances since 2019, Marte has a 1.113 OPS against the Phillies. It’s likely that Marte will continue to crush Phillies pitching during his stay in Queens. The Phillies, along with the Marlins, Yankees, Giants, Rangers and Astros all had interest in signing Marte.

Outside of the versatile Chris Taylor and perhaps Kris Bryant, the market lacks a starting caliber center fielder. This means the Phillies are likely to pivot to the trade market to fill their need at the position. They could acquire a glove-first center fielder like Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier or put together a trade package for a star like Pittsburgh’s Bryan Reynolds or Minnesota’s Byron Buxton. Oakland’s Ramon Laureano could also be a trade target for the Phillies.

Last offseason, the Phillies opted to rely on internal options in center field. Odúbel Herrera, who spent most of last season as the Phillies starting center fielder, is a free agent after the Phillies declined his 2022 club option and decided not to retain him in arbitration. Roman Quinn is recovering from a torn Achilles and is a non-tender candidate, Scott Kingery was outrighted to the minors and Dave Dombrowski told reporters at the GM Meetings that the Phillies are not counting on former first round picks Adam Haseley and Mickey Moniak to be on the MLB roster at the beginning of next season.

They have no choice but to look elsewhere for a starting center fielder next year. With Marte off the board, the Phillies will likely have to get creative to fill the void.


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  1. Prickly Pete Salmonella

    November 27, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    Good he’s old and the contract he was going to get won’t look good in year three.

  2. Steve

    November 28, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    SIGN a CORNER OUTFIELDER that complements
    HARPER like CASTELANOS. Look to fill CF
    Internally. Give the M & M Boys a Shot.
    Then SIGN a Quality Starter and a closer.

  3. William

    November 28, 2021 at 5:19 pm

    Agree with you’re thinking. Desperate teams over pay !
    Phils need a closer , and a Right-handed bat. Was OH that bad, bring him back on the cheap ! ( two years 17 Million )

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