MLB: The Marlins have made an extension offer to Starling Marte

The Miami Marlins they have presented a multi-year extension offer to the star center fielder Starling mars. Terms of the offer are unknown, though Marte and his representatives at Rep 1 Baseball are reported to be seeking a “three- or four-year deal in the $ 50 million range.”

Marte, who is playing the season on a $ 12.5MM contract, is scheduled to reach free agency at the end of the year. Last month, he expressed his desire to strike a long-term deal to stay with Miami rather than test the market:

Theoretically, the two parties have until the end of the season to work on an extension, although the July 30 trade deadline could also work as an extension deadline. If the Marlins and Marte don’t reach a long-term deal in the next few weeks, the Marlins (35-47) are expected to trade it.

El Pez could also hold Mars until the end of the year and make a qualifying offer for the offseason. He would almost certainly decline the qualifying offer, entitling Miami to 2022 draft pick compensation if he signed elsewhere.

However, Marte is playing well enough this season that a contender would likely offer the Marlins a more valuable prospect package than the compensatory pick they would receive if he turned down a qualified offer.

While a broken rib cost Mars a month of action earlier this year, he arguably is playing at the best of his career when healthy. The right-hander has slashed .294 / .401 / .453 in 202 plate appearances. His 143 wRC + finish (suggesting he’s been 43 percentage points better than the average hitter after parking adjustments) is the best of his ten-year career.

That’s mainly due to a demonstrably more patient approach, as Mars is walking at a 13.4% pace which is almost triple the 4.9% percentage of running walks that it led to the season.

Considering the performance of Mars this year, your preference for a deal in the $ 50MM range seems more than reasonable. He is scheduled to turn 33 in October, which will limit the length of the deal. Still, he’s still the undisputed best center fielder on the market and has been among the top performers regardless of position.

Among the position players scheduled to reach free agency, only Carlos Correa, Marcus Semien, and Nick Castellanos (who will almost certainly opt out of the final two years of his contract) have a fWAR greater than Mars’ 2.8. .

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Castellanos, Correa, Nelson Cruz and JD Martínez (who has a player option) are the only members of that group (minimum of 100 plate appearances) to have surpassed Marte this season.