2017 Fantasy Baseball: Arizona Dbacks Acquire J.D. Martinez
The trade season is heating up (more trades are rumored to happen by the time this goes to press) and the Tigers and Dbacks are getting involved. The Tigers signaled the beginning of their fire sale by dealing right fielder J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for minor league third baseman Dawel Lugo, shortstop Sergio Alcantara, and shortstop Jose King.
Why the Dbacks make this trade
The Dbacks are in the midst of the wild card hunt, but they have been dealing with injuries in their outfield. Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas has missed much of the season, so the Dbacks have been holding down left field with bailing wire and duct tape. Martinez has played left in the past, so he should slot right in with A.J. Pollock in center field and David Peralta in right field.
Martinez missed much of the first two months of the season, but has returned with a .305 average, 16 home runs, and a .918 OPS in over 230 plate appearances. Martinez gives them a nice slugger to complement Jake Lamb and Paul Goldschmidt in the middle of the order. If he plays the last two and half months with health he could end up with close to 30 home runs on the season.
The odds seem to be long on the Dbacks catching the Dodgers in the NL West, but they have a stranglehold on one of the two wild card spots. While the wild card might seem like a bad way to advance in the playoffs, wild card teams have enjoyed a lot of success since the format expanded to two wild card teams. A strong offense and Zack Greinke might be enough to make some noise.
Why the Tigers make this trade
Martinez will be a free agent after the season and the Tigers are in a financial crunch. They are paying a ton of money to Justin Verlander, Jordan Zimmermann, and Miguel Cabrera. None of them are producing what they used to in their prime. The Tigers will now try to barter off as much expensive talent as they can as they prepare to reload. Zimmermann and Cabrera are likely untouchable. Anibal Sanchez and Victor Martinez are as well, but the club may be able to get takers for Verlander and Justin Wilson.
Lugo was the fourth rated prospect in the Dbacks system. He is only 22 years old and is already in AA. He hit 17 home runs at two different levels in 2016, but has regressed back to seven so far this season. He is a solid contact hitter and is probably there defensively as he has also played some shortstop in addition to third.
Alcantara is only 20, but has already advanced to advanced A ball. He has some decent speed and a good glove to go with it. He was rated as the Dbacks 15th best prospect at the time of the trade. So, those two immediately go into the Tigers top 30 prospects. King is still very young and a raw, but he is hitting a combined .336 in 325 professional plate appearances.
What this deal means for you
It should always make you nervous when a player changes leagues, but Bank One Ballpark has a reputation as a hitter’s park and the offense is likely better with all of those hitters in the middle of the order. Martinez owners should be very happy as he should see an uptick in his runs and RBI. If you have a sleepy owner in your league that happens to own him then you can maybe steal him from them in a favorable trade.