While unlikely, a reunion with a former outfielder could be in the cards for the Houston Astros if the stars align.
Of all the players that the Astros have let go in recent years, there has been one that the team wishes to take back more often than not: J.D. Martinez.
Now, there isn’t a need to delve into the reasons why the Astros let go of him in the first place. That is old news. The question is now whether Martinez is available via a trade?
Per a report from Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors, there has been chatter that the Tigers will not pursue a contract extension with Martinez. The primary reason appears to be payroll related, which isn’t surprising as Detroit posted roughly a $198 million dollar payroll on Opening Day. Unless the Tigers front office moves other high-priced players, then it appears unlikely that Martinez will remain a Tiger much longer.
If the current Tiger slugger is indeed available, then the Astros should explore the possibility of reacquiring the slugger.
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Anytime an outfielder that has slashed .299/.357/.540 in the past three years is even possibly close to the trade market, you explore that option. Especially if you only have one for-sure regular outfielder on your active roster (George Springer).
On paper it does appear that both organizations are a potential match trade wise. After all, Houston has the young, and cheap, talent that Detroit would likely require in return. And the Astros are in need of an outfielder that be would a solid force in the lineup.
The package to acquire Martinez may be steep though. Depending on the timing, this offseason could present an irresistible opportunity for the Tigers to land quality talent to help bolster their roster.
Of course, the Astros would have to pony up the cash in terms of a long term extension to keep Martinez long term. And we all know about their track record, or lack thereof, with spending the big bucks.
Anyway, this is something, if it does become something, that the Astros need to keep an eye going forward.
**Statistics and data provided by Baseball Reference and Cot’s Baseball Contracts via Baseball Prospectus**