The Detroit Tigers have traded outfielder J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The trade comes a few weeks before the July 31 deadline. In return, Detroit will receive minor league prospects Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara, and Jose King.
Martinez is hitting 0.305 with 16 home runs and 39 runs batted in. In his sixth year out of Nova Southeastern, Martinez served as another punch in the lethal Detroit lineup that featured Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, amongst others.
After being a very formidable club for many years, the Tigers find themselves at the bottom of the American League Central Division at 42-49, six games behind the first-place Cleveland Indians. Letting go of Martinez is a sign that this club is ready for a rebuild in order to contend in the future.
Interestingly enough, the Diamondbacks find themselves down further in their respective division at 10 games back to the seemingly unstoppable Los Angeles Dodgers. Their plan is that the addition of Martinez will help them climb the gap between the two teams or possibly contend for one of the two wild card slots.
Right now, Arizona is atop the wild card standings in the National League, tied with the Colorado Rockies. Those two teams could battle in a one-game playoff for a chance to make it into the divisional round.
J.D. Martinez helped the Tigers in many ways. Throughout the 458 games he played for Detroit since 2014, he hit.300, had 99 home runs, and 285 runs batted in.
Of course, Martinez wasn’t traded for pennies.
Double-A third baseman Dowel Lugo is currently hitting.282 with seven home runs and 43 runs batted in. Shortstop Sergio Alcantara playing in advanced single-A has hit three homers, is batting 0.279 and has 28 runs batted in. Finally, shortstop Jose King, currently playing in rookie ball, is swinging at a 0.261 average with nine runs batted in.
Obviously, these players have a lot of room for growth before they see the major leagues, if ever.
Detroit dumps Martinez’s $11.8 million contract to Arizona. The right hander becomes a free agent at the end of the year, so this could potentially be a rental for the Diamondbacks if Martinez ends up choosing elsewhere in free agency at the season’s end.
The upcoming months and potential postseason birth for Arizona will prove if this transaction was worth while. Also, it’d be remiss to forget about those prospects who one day may become household names in Detroit.
J.D. Martinez will now suit up Sedona Red and black for the remainder of the season and potentially beyond.
[Featured Image by Carlos Osorio/AP Images]