Heading into the 2022 campaign, the Blue Jays lacked a solid option at third base and the club was also potentially in the market for some help at second base as well, depending on how they decided to attack their hole on the left side of the field.
While the earlier trade discussions amongst the Jays fanbase revolved around Jose Ramirez, fans were also quick to point out that Arizona Diamondbacks 2B/OF Ketel Marte was a potential option as well if the Diamondbacks were going to make him available.
Marte began his career with the Seattle Mariners and made his MLB debut in 2015. After two seasons on the West Coast, the Dominican product was traded to the desert alongside RHP Taijuan Walker for a trio of players in return. Since arriving in Arizona, Marte has been one of the top players in their lineup, owning a .295/.358/.495 slash line with 67 home runs and a .853 OPS through 505 games. He did hit the ball well last season but had to deal with a hamstring injury that limited him to just 90 games, but his team-friendly contract (at the time) and ability to play multiple positions made him a possible trade target this offseason, especially with the Diamondbacks potentially heading towards a rebuild given their current roster situation.
A potential Blue Jays trade candidate was Ketel Marte, but after the recent news of his contract extension, the club may have to look elsewhere.
While Ramirez appeared to be the headliner amongst the fans this winter, the Blue Jays front office pulled the trigger on a trade with the Oakland Athletics instead, bringing in defensive stalwart Matt Chapman in exchange for four prospects. With third base now addressed and the prospects of trading for Ramirez holding onto hope in the form of Carlos Baerga Instagram videos, fans started to look at the possibility of trading for Marte to help fill in the hole at second base (while it should be noted that there was no formal connection found through the rumour mill).
That seemed like a possibility until it was reported that the Diamondbacks and their start player had reached a five-year extension for a total of $76 million, buying out his remaining arbitration years and a few seasons of free agency as well. This seems like an absolute steal for the Dbacks given Marte’s ability on the field and with a long-term contract on the books, the prospects of him getting traded anytime soon are pretty much out the window.
The Blue Jays now appear to be ready to roll into Opening Day with either Cavan Biggio or Santiago Espinal manning second base.