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Starling Marte traded to D-backs; 2 prospects sent to Pirates

Starling Marte #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a single to center field in the first inning during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on August 23, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Teams are wearing special color schemed uniforms with players choosing nicknames to display for Players' Weekend. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to acquire Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Starling Marte and $1.5 million in exchange for two prospects, the team announced Monday afternoon.

The deal was first reported by 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s own John Gambadoro.

Arizona will also send $250,000 of international spending Pittsburgh in the trade, per Gambadoro.

One of those prospects the D-backs traded is 19-year-old shortstop Liover Peguero, who split time last season with the Missoula Osprey and the Short-A Hillsboro Hops, reports Murray.

Brennan Malone, a right-handed pitcher drafted 33rd overall in 2019, is also headed to the Pirates organization. He went 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA in six games (three starts) in the Arizona League and made one appearance of 1.0 inning with the Hops.

Both are rated in the top-10 of the Diamondbacks’ farm system, according to Baseball America.

To make room on the D-backs’ 40-man roster, the team designated infielder Pat Valaika for assignment. Valaika played in 40 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2019, batting .190 with 15 hits, four RBIs and one home run. He was claimed by Arizona off waivers earlier this month.

The 31-year-old Marte hit .295 with 23 home runs and a career-high 82 RBIs last season.

Marte is under contract through 2020 and will be paid $11.5 million next season. He has an option for the 2021 season that could pay out $12.5 million, according to Spotrac.com.

The seven-year MLB veteran has played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Since 2012, he’s accounted for 1,047 hits and 108 home runs with a career slash-line of .287/.341/.452.

Arizona has been in search of outfield depth with veterans Jarrod Dyson and Adam Jones, regulars from last year’s squad, hitting free agency. The D-backs also non-tendered Steven Souza Jr. after he missed all of 2019 with a serious knee injury.

The Diamondbacks have already added left-handed hitter Kole Calhoun to the outfield, where he joins the recently-extended David Peralta and converted infielder Ketel Marte, who can now potentially return to his natural position as a second baseman. Outfielder Tim Locastro is also back after a breakout season in which he played a career-high 91 games.

Starling Marte was an All-Star in 2016 and has won two Gold Gloves in 2015 and 2016.


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