Rays trade 1B/OF José Martínez to Cubs

August 30th, 2020

The Rays continued to be busy in the trade market, this time dealing first baseman/outfielder to the Cubs for two players to be named later or cash considerations, the club announced Sunday.

Martínez, who was acquired from the Cardinals in January, was hitting just .239 (16-for-67) with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 24 games with the Rays. Martínez had split time between first base and designated hitter, but he had started to fall out of consistent playing time with Tampa Bay.

Since Aug. 14, Martínez had started just four of the team’s 14 games, most of them coming as the designated hitter against left-handed pitching, which has been a strength for Martínez throughout his career. This season, however, Martínez was hitting just .229 with one home run in 35 at-bats against lefties.

With Martínez headed to the Cubs, the Rays will continue to rely on to handle most of the first-base duties. can also play the position against left-handed pitching. At DH, the Rays will keep alternating options, led by , , and .

, who was acquired in the same deal with the Cardinals, walked in two plate appearances after taking over for in Sunday's 12-7 Rays win. It was his club debut.

Arozarena, the Rays’ No. 19 prospect per MLB Pipeline, made quite the impression during Spring Training, but he was held out of Summer Camp due to a positive COVID-19 test during intake.

At the alternate training site, Arozarena has been one of the most impressive hitters, and he’ll be relied upon against left-handed pitching and will also be a key pinch-runner for the Rays. With Arozarena, the Rays have seven outfielders on the active roster. , who was acquired from the Royals on Thursday, is still waiting to join the team.