Should the Blue Jays include Orelvis Martinez in future trade talks?

LAKELAND, FLORIDA - MARCH 19: Orelvis Martinez #95 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on prior to the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 19, 2021 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
LAKELAND, FLORIDA - MARCH 19: Orelvis Martinez #95 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on prior to the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on March 19, 2021 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

One of the top prospects in the Blue Jays organization heading into the 2022 season, Orelvis Martinez joined the club as an international free agent back in 2018, signing a $3.5 million dollar bonus. He has shot his way up the rankings since making his professional debut back in 2019, posting solid numbers while being one of the younger players on every team he has suited up for.

While he played at the alternate training site in 2020 due to the cancelled season, Martinez’s 2021 campaign is what put him on the map, with the Dominican product splitting time between Low and High A ball, posting a combined .261/.345/.549 slash line with 28 home runs, 87 RBI, and a .895 OPS. Martinez also earned back-to-back Low-A Southeast Offensive Player of the Week honours with Dunedin and was voted as the Organization All-Star by

Defensively, Martinez splits his time between shortstop and third base, with scouts divided on where the infielder will end up over time. He’s spent most innings at shortstop (754.1) and boasts a .915 fielding percentage through 91 games compared to third base, where he owns a .866 fielding percentage through 248.0 innings and 29 games. His arm and athletic ability play at both spots but one roadblock could be current Jays shortstop Bo Bichette, who does not appear to be moving anytime soon.

With his raw power and Adrian Beltre comparisons, it makes sense that other teams would come asking for the talented 20-year-old when the Jays front office looks to improve the current roster. Jeff Passan reported that numerous teams inquired about his availability at the 2021 trade deadline but Ross Atkins and co. were not having it, “conversations started and stopped there.”

While Major League Baseball may be in lockout mode, the Blue Jays could look to make a splash once they are able to, potentially including Orelvis Martinez.

It makes sense why the Blue Jays would be unwilling to include Martinez in any perspective deals and believe me, I was a huge advocate earlier this offseason in that the righty-batter should be up there as an untouchable along with top prospect Gabriel Moreno. I think he is the type of player that has the potential to be an All-Star type with everyday impact, one that could turn any trade into a regret three to five years down the line.

However, if the Blue Jays are truly in a win-now mode given the current roster, the club may need to consider trading top prospects like Martinez if they want to create a well-rounded lineup that can compete for the World Series (when the club is able to trade once a new CBA is in place).

One name that pokes itself into this conversation is Jose Ramirez, third baseman for the Cleveland Guardians.

Ramirez is an excellent player who fills in a need at the hot corner and possesses a switch-hitting bat that would create a very dynamic lineup alongside Bichette, Springer, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and Teoscar Hernandez. He also has two years of contract control, adding more to the price tag if the Guardians are choosing to part with their best player. Jays fans are absolutely enamoured with the thought of adding Ramirez to this team and with good reason.

While he may or may not be available for trade, it wouldn’t be surprising if one of the teams who asked for Martinez at the deadline was Cleveland, as the Jays did attempt to acquire the Dominican product. That conversation obviously did not progress further, but with some time to think on the idea and maybe some behind-the-scenes conversations, could the Jays be willing to include Martinez in a potential future deal?

Perhaps, especially since the Jays do have infielder Jordan Groshans also in the mix, as the club could choose to move one or the other, with pros and cons for either player in terms of trade value or who to keep for the long haul. The loss of Martinez certainly would sting but it is no secret that adding Ramirez is the needle-moving type of play that makes the Blue Jays that much better and could challenge the rest of the AL East for first place.

We as fans may be hesitant to trade prospects considering the risk factor of the “what if” when it comes to the future projection of top prospects but adding a veteran impact player like Jose Ramirez just sounds too good of a temptation to let go of, an idea that has certainly been swayed since the start of the offseason (for myself at least).

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Even if Martinez is included in a deal for Ramirez, the Jays would still have to pony up a few more players/prospects to get a deal in place, however, including the top prospect could change the dynamic of the overall trade package that keeps other talented players in the organization like Alejandro Kirk, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Gunnar Hoglund (to name a few).

It wouldn’t be surprising if the front office keeps him in the “untouchable” category given his future outlook but the stance may soften once the lockout is over and the frenzy hits an all-time high before the season begins. It was the Blue Jays who did ultimately turn down a potential deal from Cleveland earlier this year as per Pat Raggazo at SI but could the two sides go back to the drawing board if the 20-year-old is now on the table?

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It is a risky decision but one that could provide enough firepower to bring the World Series trophy North of the border once again.