Pirates

Marte on Pirates: ‘I would leave at this point’

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Starling Marte. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Starling Marte doesn't exactly want out.

But he also doesn't exactly want to stay.

Marte spoke Thursday with Hector Gomez of Deportivo, in an interview conducted in Spanish but translated for DKPittsburghSports.com, of a recent report that the Mets would be interested in acquiring him from the Pirates.

"They have the power to decide," he said, referring to the Pirates. "If I had it in me, I would leave at this point because the caliber of players that we have is not enough to compete in a World Series. The Mets have everything. It would be a great opportunity to play with them."

He added, “The Mets are in position to do that, and it will be an honor to play with them. If it doesn’t happen, I will keep working hard and giving my team all I have.”

The Pirates and Mets went wildly different directions in 2019, the former collapsing to a 69-93 finish while the latter surged into semi-contention at 86-76, but still out of the playoffs and 11 games out of first place in the National League East Division.

All I can add is this, and I've mentioned this previously in Friday Insider: On the morning of the Pirates' season finale at PNC Park, shortly before Clint Hurdle was fired, Marte, who closed the season on the Injured List, appeared to be going out of his way to say goodbye to people with maybe more emotion than the norm. And two months earlier -- coincidentally, at Citi Field in New York, following a sweep by the Mets -- he'd expressed to me his disgust over the state of the franchise.

Marte, who turned 31 last month, is coming off a season that Hurdle himself described as the best, most consistent of his career, with a .295/.342/.503 slash line, 23 home runs, 82 RBIs and 25 steals. His club option for 2020 worth $11.5 million was picked up by the Pirates earlier this month. He also has another club option for 2021 worth $12.5 million.

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