Welcome to CBSSports.com's Rumor Buy Or Sell. With the July 31 trade deadline slowly approaching, we'll break down any various trade rumors that come your way during the summer months.
Martinez, 29, is hitting .298/.379/.602 with 14 home runs in only 54 games around a foot injury this season. He is due to become a free agent after the season.
The Background: The Dodgers have started to run away with the NL West, though the upstart D-Backs currently sit in the top wild card spot with a comfortable 8 1/2-game lead over the first team on the outside looking in. They're also averaging 4.99 runs scored per game, fifth best in the NL. Regular left fielder Yasmany Tomas has a nagging groin injury.
Adding Martinez to effectively replace Tomas -- Tomas was hitting .241/.294/.464 with eight home runs in 47 games before the groin injury -- would give the D-Backs arguably the most devastating middle of the lineup in baseball. Think of the possibilities:
- CF A.J. Pollock
- RF David Peralta
- 1B Paul Goldschmidt
- 3B Jake Lamb
- LF J.D. Martinez
- SS Chris Owings
- 2B Brandon Drury
- C Jeff Mathis
Goodness. That 3-4-5 is scary. And, as an added bonus, Martinez would give Arizona another potent right-handed bat to counter all the quality lefties in the NL West (Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Alex Wood, Kyle Freeland, etc.). The Tomas injury opened up an outfield spot, and it's hard to think of a better player to plug that hole than Martinez.
As for the Tigers, they are 39-49 and 6 1/2 games back of a wild card spot with nine teams ahead of them in the standings. For all intents and purposes, they're out of the race., and that didn't happen, so now is the time to sell. Martinez, as an impending free agent, is a prime candidate to go.
The Verdict: Yeah, this is a buy. For sure. Initially I thought this was posturing because the Dodgers have been connected to Martinez as well, though it makes too much sense for the D-Backs. Martinez would give them a true powerhouse offense and greatly improve their chances, even if they do have to settle for a wild card spot. Their farm system isn't great at the moment, though I'm sure they could still cobble together a package that'll entice the Tigers. Left-hander and top prospect Anthony Banda may have to be included to make a deal happen and keep Martinez away from Los Angeles.