The biggest power bat on baseball's trade market moved in a hurry Tuesday when the Detroit Tigers shipped outfielder J.D. Martinez to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for three prospects.
In a deal that signals a significant rebuild in Detroit and a go-for-it mentality for the National League wild card-leading Diamondbacks, the Tigers will receive minor league shortstops Dawel Lugo and Sergio Alcantara and Jose King.
In exchange, Arizona gets a daunting middle of the lineup that will feature right-handed sluggers Martinez and two-time MVP runner-up Paul Goldschmidt sandwiching power-hitting third baseman Jake Lamb.
While the Diamondbacks aren't likely to catch the rampaging Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, it certainly makes Arizona a daunting playoff foe -- particularly since it has lefty and righty aces in Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke who could navigate the wild card game and Game 1 of a Division Series.
Martinez hit a career-high 38 home runs in 2015, and averaged 34 homers and 100 RBI from 2014-2016 -- and he's moving from Detroit's Comerica Park to a hitter's haven in Phoenix's Chase Field.
Martinez revived his career in Detroit after foundering in Houston. Embracing a new stance and commitment to hitting more fly balls, he hit 23 home runs in 2014, his first season in Detroit, and was an All-Star and Silver Slugger in 2015.
Martinez is making $11.75 million this season, and will be a free agent in the off-season.
That's the main reason the prospect return from Arizona was, in a sense, underwhelming. Lugo, a 22-year-old shortstop, is batting .282 with seven homers and a .753 OPS in his first full season at Class AA. Alcantara is a year younger and a level lower -- producing a .706 OPS and 11 stolen bases in 21 attempts at high Class A Visalia (California).
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