Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported on Twitter that the Houston Astros are making their inquiries on free agent center fielder, Starling Marte. The Astros were interested in Marte around the trade deadline, but didn’t seem to want to offer any valuable assets for a rental player.
Jake Meyers is out indefinitely, and it appears Meyers won’t be ready for the start of the 2022 season. As it stands today, the Astros will rely on Chas McCormick and Jose Siri to man center field. While both players have flashed the talent to hang at the big-league level, they are still young and relatively unproven.
With an Astros team only two wins short of being crowned World Series champions, it would be no surprise that general manager James Click looks to free agency as a way to bring in a proven, veteran slugger to play center field, especially if Carlos Correa ends up signing somewhere else.
Starling Marte might be the solution for the Astros.
Marte started the ’21 season with the Miami Marlins, and he was reportedly seeking a four-year contract extension with the ball club. However, after contract extension talks stalled, the Marlins ultimately opting to place Marte on the trading block, while eventually ending up with the Oakland A’s. Marte is going to command something around a three-year, $55 million-$60 million deal.
The 33-year-old centerfielder will be entering his 11th season in the majors. Marte is in the heart of his prime, putting a really nice season together in 2021, as the right-hander slashed .306/.381/.456 with 12 home runs, a major-league leading 47 stolen bases and only striking out 99 times during his time with Miami and Oakland.
On paper, Marte fits in with the Astros offensive culture. He hits the ball to all fields, maintains a low strikeout rate and has speed comparable to that of Meyers, McCormick and Siri.