Chicago Cubs Acquire José Martínez From Tampa Bay Rays

You might remember José Martínez from his time with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was always that guy who seemed to be a thorn in the side of the Cubs. The Cubs acquired Martínez today for a player to be named later or cash considerations, or both. You can read the Cubs’ press release below to interpret.

He’s not likely to be an everyday guy since his defense isn’t great, but over his career he’s mashed against lefties, slashing .319/.392/.554 and a 153 wRC+, which is something the Cubs really need as they head down the home stretch of this strange 2020 season.

We’ll have more on this trade in the coming days. So stay tuned. And how knows, maybe the Cubs will even acquire a bullpen arm before the end of the deadline.

Here’s the full release from the Cubs:

CINCINNATI – The Chicago Cubs today acquired outfielder/infielder José Martínez from the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named or cash consideration as well as a player to be named or cash consideration. To make room for Martínez on the 40-man roster, catcher Josh Phegley has been designated for assignment.

Martínez, 32, is a career .294 hitter (360-for-1,223) with 43 home runs and 182 RBI in 422 major league games covering the last five seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (2016-19) and Tampa Bay Rays (2020). He has a .361 on-base percentage and a .455 slugging percentage, good for a career .815 OPS. Martínez has seen action in 24 games with the Rays this year, batting .239 (16-for-67) with two home runs and 10 RBI.

The right-handed batter and thrower broke into the majors with St. Louis in 2016 and batted over .300 in each of the next two seasons, including a career-best .309 (84-for-272) in 106 games in 2017 and .305 (163-for-534) in 2018 while setting career highs with 152 games, 30 doubles, 17 home runs and 83 RBI that year. Last season, Martínez batted .269 (90-for-334) with 10 homers and 42 RBI in 128 games, his final campaign with St. Louis.

The 6-foot-6 Martínez is a native of La Guaira, Venezuela. He was acquired by Tampa Bay from St. Louis in a trade on January 9, 2020. He originally signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Chicago White Sox in 2006.

Phegley, 32, has batted .063 (1-for-16) with one home run and two RBI in 11 games with the Cubs this season.

Martínez has yet to report to the major league club. Chicago’s 60-man Player Pool roster stands at 57 players, with 27 active players on the major league roster (plus two 10-day injured list players) in Chicago and 27 players in South Bend.

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