The Mariners are likely going to be looking for a second baseman at the deadline. Not only that, they are going to be looking for one that can provide a nice bat for their lineup. So, what would happen if they called up the Diamondbacks and tried to get Ketel Marte back?
Ketel Marte has previously played both second and outfield, going back and forth depending on the needs of the team. However, this year he has only been at second base, playing all of his games either there (59) or at DH (16).
Marte may look like he is having a bit of a down year if you look at his stats, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true. Yes, he does only have six home runs to go along with a slash line of .265/.362/.433, but he already has 26 2Bs on the season, with a chance to get to 50 if he keeps hitting that way.
When trying to think up a worthy proposal, trade values really does seem to fail on this one. They’ve got him listed at 8.5, which seems low. But… not as low as you may think. Part of it might have to do with the contract and health concerns. When healthy, he is great, turning in WAR seasons of 3.9 and 6.9 in 2018 and 2019, respectively. He’s also already 28, so he isn’t that young anymore. I’m not saying he’s old, but the youth is no longer an added value to Ketel Marte.
The contract is a pretty long one, as he signed a 5-$76 extension that keeps him on the Diamondbacks through 2027, and then has a 2028 club option with a small buyout. If he plays well, it’s worth it, although there are some escalators that could push it higher. With a finish of 4-7 in MVP voting, he gets a $2 million bump, and if that gets to the top 3, it becomes a $3 million bump. I don’t know if those combine or not, as it doesn’t say. Either way, it would still be a good value for a top MVP finisher.
Can he get there though… and could he do it consistently? That’s the big question to ask, and likely the tough part in figuring out his value. Add in that the Diamondbacks could easily look to him as the Face of the Franchise, and it could affect his value further. IF, and it’s a big IF, they are looking to trade him, here is what I think a good offer would be for Ketel Marte to get him over to the Mariners.
According to Trade Values, just sending Abraham Toro straight up would technically be an overpay (9.3 for an 8.5). I’m putting him in the deal, as he would be a good young piece, with a lot of control, for Arizona to plug in at second (or third) to see how he can do with regular playing time in their system.
It can’t just be him though. There needs to be more. This is why I am adding in a strong piece in Bryce Miller, as well as a lower-end piece in Robert Perez Jr. Miller has been quite good in his first full year in the minors, and I’m probably gonna get yelled at by someone for putting him in here. With a K rate of 11/9 and an ERA in the mid-3s, he’s been impressing everyone in High-A this year. Perez, at 22, is in high-A as well with pretty good pop but a legit strikeout worry.
Look, I don’t know if Marte is going to be available. Now that he has a legit contract, his value drops a bunch. That’s just the way it works. For those thinking “oh, the Mariners are gonna have to at least trade Marte for Marte” you’re just wrong. Sure, a few years ago before the extension, that definitely would’ve been a more compelling case. It just isn’t anymore. Especially if the Diamondbacks aren’t quite ready to compete (although, they just might be trying).
For now, I think this is a fair deal that would get the Diamondbacks an MLB ready player in Toro, a strong starting pitching prospect who has been impressive, and a power prospect that could be MLB worthy if he can cut down on the swing and miss. If the Mariners are going to go after a second baseman, I think it would make a lot of Mariners fans happy to see Ketel Marte back in a Mariners uniform.