Another contender has made a significant trade to improve their chances in October. The Arizona Diamondbacks have sent three prospects, including two of their top-20 prospects, to acquire Detroit Tigers OF J.D. Martinez. Martinez will likely take over LF on a regular basis while Yasmany Tomas continues his rehab from right groin tendinitis. An outfield trio of Martinez, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta is very intriguing and instantly boosts Arizona’s competitiveness.
Arizona Diamondbacks Acquire Martinez for Prospects
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 18, 2017
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 18, 2017
Arizona is already in good position to compete in October this year. They are currently 10.5 games back in the NL West, but they are the first wild card team in the National League. Martinez will be joining a top-10 offense in all of MLB and is headed to a hitter-friendly home park in Chase Field.
In 57 games this season, Martinez is slashing .305/.388/.630 with an impressive 1.018 OPS. He has added 16 home runs, 39 RBI, and 31 of his 61 hits have gone for extra-bases. The one drawback for Martinez has been his missed time this season, but hopefully he can remain healthy down the stretch for Arizona.
Catching up to the Dodgers seems highly unlikely for Arizona, but this move is more about doing well in the postseason. Acquiring Martinez will give Arizona a leg up in maintaining their wild card lead while also building a formidable offensive line up for October.
Dawel Lugo was Arizona’s fourth ranked prospect and is the best player in the deal. The 22-year old Dominican SS has played 88 games at Double-A this season. Lugo is slashing .282/.325/.428 with 43 RBI and 40 runs scored this season. Sergio Alcantara is a fellow Dominican SS who has been playing at Advanced-A this season. Alcantara has slashed .279/.344/.362 with 95 hits and 44 runs scored. He has displayed a good approach at the plate with 34 walks to 57 strikeouts this season. Jose King is an 18-year old SS who has appeared in just 13 games at the Rookie level this season.
Detroit is certainly trying to rebuild and cut down on salary. On the one hand, Detroit got a solid return for three months of Martinez on his current contract. On the other hand, Detroit received an underwhelming return for a balanced power bat at the trade deadline. Time will tell how it all plays out.