Cleveland Indians dream trade target: Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte

Trade talk is starting to occupy all of our minds, as the Cleveland Indians hang around contention heading into the second week of June.

There’s already been some chatter, with national writers suggesting Seattle outfielder Mitch Haniger, while another had Cleveland chasing Texas slugger Joey Gallo ahead of the MLB trade deadline.

Arizona might have the Indians dream target, though, in outfielder Ketel Marte. The with-hitter has predominantly played center field this season, and is batting .313 (1.082 OPS).

With no answers in the outfield coming internally, The Athletic’s Zack Meisel pinpointed Marte as someone the Indians should covet.

“There might not be a better fit for Cleveland’s roster (and payroll) than Ketel Marte,” Meisel wrote.

If the Indians got him now, they’d have control over his contract for the next 3 1/2 seasons, and if Marte produces like he is now, he’ll be one of the biggest bargains in baseball. Currently, Marte is earning $6.4 million. He’ll earn $8.4, $8.0, and $10 million in the final three years of the deal, respectively. The final two years of the contract are team options, so if he suddenly forgets how to play after 2022, the Tribe could buy him out for a cool $1 million.

A guy who hits, plays outfield and is affordable. Seems to good to be true. For what it’s worth, The Athletic’s Diamondbacks’ writer “emphatically” shut down any trade of the 2019 All-Star, according to Meisel.

While it’s probably a long shot, I wouldn’t rule the Tribe out. The front office has a history of making deals–big deals. They gave up the top two pitching prospects in the organization for Ubaldo Jimenez. They were prepared to send a big haul for Jonathan Lucroy. They traded away a top two prospect for Andrew Miller.

In case you haven’t notice, the Indians have been stockpiling prospects in recent trades. They’ve got a deep supply of pitching and middle infielders. If Arizona was serious about getting things going int he right direction, they might want to talk to the Tribe.

Marte is already in his seventh season and is 27 years old. The Diamondbacks probably aren’t going to contend in the next three seasons.

Their front office could maximize Marte’s value by dealing him now. Tribe fans just went through this with Lindor. Everyday you wait, the value goes down a little.