Arizona Diamondbacks: Trade signals aggressive post-season run
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen made a signifcant trade Tuesday.
Pundits believed the Arizona Diamondbacks would aggressively buy leading up to and at the July 31 trade deadline. On Tuesday, those rumors became reality.
Just before the Diamondbacks and the Cincinnati Reds got underway at Great American Ballpark Tuesday night, the team announced they had acquired Detroit Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for three minor league, infield prospects. The prospect package included No. 4 prospect Dawel Lugo.
For the next three months, the Diamondbacks will pay Martinez $5 million. For Hazen and company, Martinez is well worth the rental price.
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After compiling the highest OPS against left handers last season, .820, things have taken a turn for the worse. This season, the Diamondbacks .670 OPS against lefties is the fourth worst in baseball.
On the other side, the Tigers have compiled the best OPS in baseball against southpaws (.844). If the Detroit faced lefties everyday, they might be a playoff team. Martinez, who will be 30-years-old on Aug. 21, was a big part of the Tigers production.
In just 38 at-bats against southpaws, Martinez reached base over half the time (.556), had 18 hits with a 1.661 OPS, six home runs and 11 RBIs. Since 2014, Martinez has been one of the most productive players in the American League. Despite having just a .980 fielding percentage, Martinez is a better option than Daniel Descalso or Chris Herrmann at the corner positions. Even if Yasmany Tomas comes back, Martinez is a better overall player.
Fits right in
It appears the former Houston Astro will play everyday and bat in the middle of the lineup. Ideally, field manager Torey Lovullo could bat him fourth against lefties and fifth against right handers. Against righties, this would allow Jake Lamb to break up Goldschmidt and Martinez.
Playing in pitcher-friendly Comerica Park, Martinez developed into a middle of the order bat. Now, he gets to take hacks at Chase Field. Just imagine the numbers he can put up at second most hitter friendly park in baseball.
There are seven players with at least 700 at bats and an OPS above 1.000 this season. The Diamondbacks have two of them. Goldschmidt, Martinez and Lamb is a middle of the lineup could form a formidable trio.
In the last four years, only three hitters out-hit Martinez. The three include Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins.
It was interesting to see Goldschmidt batting cleanup Wednesday. A.J. Pollock and David Peralta also traded places atop the order. Since Pollock rejoined the team, Lovullo indicated he was contemplating a lineup shuffle. It appears the change had nothing to do with Martinez.
Then, fate intervened. In just his second at-bat with the Diamondbacks, Martinez was hit in the hand by a up and in fastball from Reds starter Tim Adelman. Initially, it did not look good, the team received preliminary good news.
It was announced Martinez has a left hand contusion (bruise) and is considered day-to-day. Martinez missed the series finale Thursday afternoon in Cincinnati and is scheduled to hold a news conference with Arizona media prior to Friday’s game against the Nationals in Chase Field.
"Arizona Diamondbacks: Martinez added for the stretch run"
When a trade of this magnitude transpires, there is legitimate concern. When Martinez gets regular at-bats, he should immediately impact his new team.