The Cubs completed a trade with the Rays for designated hitter Jose Martinez.
The Cubs will get Martinez while the Rays will have two players heading their way or cash considerations. While Chicago officially announced the trade, those players have not yet been named.
It’s a trade that should bring an immediate impact to the NL Central leaders at the very least.
Even if the two players to be named or the cash isn’t yet decided, it’s easy to evaluate the trade from the Cubs’ perspective.
They needed a designated hitter, particularly one with success against left-handed pitchers. Martinez fits that bill perfectly.
Against lefties in his career, Martinez has hit .319 with an on-base percentage of .392 and a slugging percentage of .554. He has 16 home runs and 50 RBI against southpaws.
Martinez also proved last year he isn’t overwhelmed by the postseason. With the Cardinals in the NLCS against the Nationals, he had three RBI and five hits in 10 plate appearances.
Not knowing what the Rays are getting back in return complicates any judgment of the trade.
However, it makes sense to cash in (literally or figuratively) on a batter who hasn’t delivered in general in 2020.
While the Cubs can rely on Martinez as a DH against left-handed pitchers, the Rays needed him to produce more than his .239 batting average.
Tampa Bay recalled Randy Arozarena in the wake of the Martinez trade, hoping to get more out of the young outfield prospect than the veteran he replaces.
If Arozarena performs well, the trade will have been well worth it for the Rays, who are looking to make their own waves in the playoffs.