Report: D-backs interested in Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez
Jul 17, 2017, 1:03 PM | Updated: 5:43 pm
(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
After getting swept by the Braves and losing five of their last six, it may be time for the D-backs to make a move at the deadline to keep their spot in the playoff standings.
Aside from rotational and bullpen depth, which just about every team needs, the D-backs could really use another outfield bat.
They may be able to find that bat with the addition of Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez.
Sources: #DBacks showing interest in J.D. Martinez, among other available bats. Talks are not serious yet. @MLBNetwork @MLB #Tigers
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 15, 2017
In his seventh season, the 2015 All-Star is hitting .308 with 16 home runs, 39 RBI and holds a 1.025 OPS in 56 games.
With the uncertain return date for Yasmany Tomas after a groin injury, adding a power outfield bat could re-energize the D-backs offense.
Along with ESPN’s Buster Olney linking Martinez to the D-backs, Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the price for him may not be too steep.
Nightengale predicts that the D-backs will pick up Martinez while giving up outfield prospect Socrates Brito and pitching prospect Curtis Taylor, the sixth and 12th ranked prospects in the D-backs system respectively, according to MLB.com.
Brito has played 58 games with the D-backs between 2015 and 2016, hitting .211 with four home runs and 13 RBI, but this year with Triple-A Reno, the 24-year old is hitting .312 with 44 hits and 20 RBI in 40 games.
Taylor has yet to be called up to the bigs, but with Single-A Kane County the 21-year old holds a 3.32 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 23 walks in 13 games.
Together, both guys don’t seem like enough to land a slugger to the caliber of Martinez, but the D-backs would only be renting him. At the end of the season, Martinez becomes an unrestricted free agent and can go anywhere he wants.
And as the Cubs showed last season with the rental of Aroldis Chapman, a midseason acquisition can make all the difference in a playoff and World Series push.
If Martinez comes to Arizona, he would become a major benefit facing left-handed pitching, one of the Snakes’ biggest struggles.
The team ranks 29th in MLB with a .223 average against lefties, but Martinez has obliterated left-handed pitching this season, hitting .500 with six home runs and 11 RBI in 36 plate appearances.
The D-backs will face plenty of lefties in their playoff push given their division foe Dodgers have three southpaws in their rotation.
In order to fend off the Rockies, Cubs, Cardinals and Brewers for the right to host the NL Wild Card game, the D-backs need a post All-Star break spark, someone to go against their weaknesses, and if Martinez can help, even as a rental, he may be what they need to break into the playoffs.