Report: Marlins expressed interest in D-backs’ Ketel Marte

Dec 3, 2021, 9:37 AM | Updated: 9:38 am

The Miami Marlins have expressed interest in Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Ketel Marte and catcher Carson Kelly, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported Friday, but the potential for any deal remains unlikely for different reasons.

Before the MLB owners locked out players this week, the Marlins had traded the Pittsburgh Pirates for catcher Jacob Stallings, making a future Kelly deal unnecessary.

And with regards to Marte, Rosenthal suggests that the D-backs will need a big persuasion in order to consider dealing their best position player. Rosenthal did not report that Arizona had shown any intentions of moving Marte heading into the lockout.

The Diamondbacks, after signing closer Mark Melancon to a two-year, $14 million contract, clearly are not conceding the 2022 season. They would need a monster package to move Marte.

Miami right-handers Pablo Lopez, who had a 3.07 ERA in 2021, or pitching prospect Max Meyer could be in the conversation if the D-backs were to consider any trade. Other teams have inquired about those two players, Rosenthal said.

It’s likely Arizona would seek a package larger than what it received in the Paul Goldschmidt trade with St. Louis (a young starting pitcher and two prospects) or the Zack Greinke deal (four of Houston’s top-30 prospects).

That’s because Marte, who slashed .318/.377/.532 and posted a .909 OPS in 90 games last year, is just 27 years old.

He has three years and $30 million left on his deal, which was already deemed a value contract when it was signed as an extension before 2018. Marte made that signing look even better when he became an All-Star in 2019.

The contract signed in March 2018 was for five years and $24 million guaranteed, but two team options for 2023 and 2024 could bring that total to $46 million.

With that much control and Marte still pretty impactful when healthy, the Diamondbacks have a valuable trade chip to work with whenever the lockout ends.

That, or Marte remains a core piece that helps Arizona get off the MLB floor.

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