Pirates

Report: Mets reopen Marte trade talks

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Starling Marte crosses home in St. Louis. -- AP

After nearly a month with nothing to report on the Starling Marte trade market, talks between the Pirates and Mets have reportedly been reopened.

According to MLB insider Robbert Murray, while a trade does not seem close at the moment, the two sides are back at the table.

The Pirates and Mets discussed a possible trade of Marte throughout the Winter Meetings in December, but those talks died down once both sides left San Diego.

Most of the original trade talks centered around the Pirates getting outfielder Brandon Nimmo in return, though the Mets seemed reluctant to part with him. While it is not known if Nimmo is involved in this batch of trade talks, it would make sense to explore moving him since the Mets would have a logjam in the outfield if they traded for Marte without giving up someone in return.

Nimmo, 26, missed most of 2019 with a bulging disc in his neck. He collided with the wall in mid-April, and while he played another month, he struggled, both offensively and defensively. He hit just .221, but made up for it with a terrific 18.1% walk rate, giving him a .375 on-base percentage. He also hit eight home runs with 29 RBI in 254 PAs.

In 2018, his best season, Nimmo slashed .263/.404/.483 with 17 home runs, 47 RBI and 4.4 WAR. His 149 OPS+ was second to only Christian Yelich among qualified National League batters.

Nimmo is under team control through arbitration for the next three seasons. He will make $2.175 million in 2020.

Marte is under contract for the 2020 season at $11.5 million. He also has a 2021 club option, valued at $12.5 million. While this has been a mostly quiet first offseason for new general manager Ben Cherington, it seemed very likely Marte would be moved this winter.

The Diamondbacks and Padres also inquired on Marte during the Winter Meetings, but there have been no developments with those teams since then.

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