Mets reach deal with Marte (source)

November 27th, 2021 is keeping track of all the latest news and rumors surrounding center fielder .

Read all about Marte here.

Nov. 27: Mets' deal with Marte part of Black Friday frenzy
The Mets struck three times in emphatic fashion on Friday evening, agreeing to terms with Marte, Mark Canha and Eduardo Escobar, according to sources. More >

Nov. 19: Giants emerge as another Marte suitor
Another team has emerged in the Marte sweepstakes, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports that the Giants are showing interest in the free-agent center fielder. They join the Phillies, Astros, Yankees, Mets, Rangers and Marlins among the teams known to be in the mix for the 33-year-old.

Marte isn't the only star free-agent outfielder San Francisco is considering.'s Jon Paul Morosi reported Thursday that the club has shown interest in Nick Castellanos.

San Francisco brought back Brandon Belt via a one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer on Wednesday, but the club still needs to replace multiple star hitters after Kris Bryant hit free agency and Buster Posey retired.

The departure of those two players leaves the Giants' lineup unbalanced. Evan Longoria, Wilmer Flores, Darin Ruf, Austin Slater and Curt Casali are the team's only remaining right-handed hitters from the group of players who accrued at least 200 plate appearances for San Francisco in 2021.

Center field was a revolving door for San Francisco in 2021, with Steven Duggar (93 games), Slater (77), Mike Yastrzemski (34), Mauricio Dubón (27) and Mike Tauchman (10) each logging 10-plus games out there. The approach worked out well, as Giants center fielders had the fourth-highest OPS (.748) in the NL.

Nov. 18: Marte's market hot; Astros aggressive in pursuit (report)
With many teams interested in Marte, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman speculates that the center fielder could sign a deal before the end of the month.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reports that the Astros are being "ultra aggressive" in their pursuit of Marte after reaching an agreement with free-agent righty Justin Verlander.

In addition to Houston, the Phillies, Yankees, Mets, Rangers and Marlins are among the teams that have shown interest in the 33-year-old, who is a free agent for the first time in his career.

Marte has the benefit of being a free agent during an offseason when there are few center fielders on the open market.

Marte's age is a concern considering some of his value is tied to his speed, but the veteran has shown no signs of slowing down. He led the Majors with 47 steals and was caught only five times in 2021. He also hit .310 with a 132 OPS+.

Nov. 16: Rangers among teams showing interest in Marte
The market for Marte continues to grow. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports that the Rangers are among the teams interested in the center fielder, joining the Phillies, Mets, Marlins, Astros and Yankees.

Looking to improve their standing after a 2021 season in which they recorded the third-most losses (102) in franchise history and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year, the Rangers are expected to be active in free agency. Center field is just one of the team’s many needs.

Adolis García, the fourth-place finisher in the American League Rookie of the Year Award voting, is the only outfielder on Texas' roster who is guaranteed to receive regular playing time entering 2022.

Nov. 13: Astros reportedly met with Marte's agents
The list of teams reportedly in on Starling Marte is getting longer. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman tweeted Saturday night that the Houston Astros have met with Marte's representation.

Myles Straw served as the Astros' center fielder for much of the 2021 season's first four months until he was traded to Cleveland on July 30. From there until the end of the regular season, Houston's center fielders, chiefly Chas McCormick and Jake Meyers, put together a .277/.349/.437 slash line. However, Meyers will miss the start of the 2022 season after undergoing shoulder surgery on Wednesday, and Marte, who posted a .310/.383/.458 slash line, would provide a significant upgrade in the batter's box and on the basepaths. He stole nearly as many bases last season (47) as the Astros' entire team (53).

Houston is far from the only club pursuing the 33-year-old. Heyman reported earlier this week that the Phillies, Mets and Marlins are going after Marte and stated tonight that the Yankees are involved as well. The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson reported Saturday that the Marlins have made an offer to their former center fielder and are one of "more than a half dozen teams in the mix." Jackson added that there is "no decision imminent" from Marte.

Nov. 12: Mets, Phillies, Marlins reportedly interested in Marte
The Mets, Phillies and Marlins are all showing interest in Marte, according to multiple tweets from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman over the past two days.

Marte played for Miami for parts of the past two seasons but was shipped to the A's at the Trade Deadline after the two sides were unable to agree on a contract extension. The Marlins reportedly offered him a deal in the neighborhood of $30 million over three years. It's unclear how much they are willing to increase their offer now that Marte is free to negotiate with any team, but general manager Kim Ng has clearly made improving the outfield a priority this offseason. The club also has been connected to free agents Nick Castellanos and Avisaíl García.

The Mets have actively looked for a new center fielder in each of the past two offseasons. The club discussed a trade for Marte after the 2019 season, back when the outfielder was a member of the Pirates, but Pittsburgh ended up trading him to the D-backs, who then traded him to the Marlins at the 2020 Deadline. After 2020, New York was in the mix for free-agent center fielder George Springer but ultimately signed Kevin Pillar and Albert Almora Jr. to back up Brandon Nimmo in center. If the Mets sign Marte, they could shift Nimmo to right field to fill the vacancy left by free agent Michael Conforto.

New York is still in the midst of a search for a new general manager, but with president Sandy Alderson still working in the front office, the Mets can take part in player pursuits as they normally would.

As for Philadelphia, president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has plenty of areas he needs to address this offseason. The Phillies have an opening in left field after declining Andrew McCutchen's club option, they need more pitching -- both starting and relief -- and they could look to replace Didi Gregorius at shortstop. But finding a star center fielder is near the top of the list.

The position has been an ongoing issue for the Phillies in recent years. Since the beginning of 2019, Phils center fielders rank 27th in the Majors with a .669 OPS.

There's a sizable dropoff after Starling Marte and Chris Taylor among free-agent center fielders, but Byron Buxton, Ketel Marte and Ramón Laureano could be available via trade.

Oct. 3: Marte leads MLB in steals, posts 131 OPS+
Although the A’s ended up missing the postseason, Starling Marte proved to be one of the best Trade Deadline acquisitions of the year. Marte hit .312 with an .816 OPS and 25 steals in 27 attempts across 56 games after Oakland acquired him from the Marlins.

On the season, Marte led the Majors with 47 steals and had a 131 OPS+, becoming just the 10th player this century to record 40-plus steals and an OPS+ of 130 or better after Vladimir Guerrero, Carlos Beltran (twice), Bobby Abreu, Alfonso Soriano, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Mike Trout and Jose Altuve.

Marte will now get to test free agency for the first time in his career, with his eight-year, $53 million contract set to expire after the World Series.

Although he’s a speed-based player who is heading into his age-33 season, Marte could have a robust market due to the lack of legitimate center fielders available. Clubs in need of a starting center fielder basically have two options among free agents: Marte and Chris Taylor, a utility player who is an average defender in center.

The Marlins reportedly offered Marte a three-year, $30 million contract extension with an option for a fourth year, but the two sides were unable to come to an agreement before Miami traded the center fielder to the A’s. He should be able to top that in free agency, especially because he’s ineligible to receive a qualifying offer and thus will not be tied to Draft-pick compensation.