The pool of teams clearly looking for a full-time, regular center fielder this offseason is relatively limited, as are the options to fill those jobs. So, even if it weren’t an interesting trade on its own merits, the Mariners picking up a center fielder tonight would be of interest to the Cubs.
#Mariners acquire OF Leonys Martin & RHP Anthony Bass from Texas in exchange for RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, OF James Jones & PTBNL.
— MarinersPR (@MarinersPR) November 16, 2015
Martin, 27, is a stellar defensive outfielder who is cost-controlled (though hitting his arb years), but he’s never been too much with the bat and is coming off of his worst season. That’s why the Mariners were able to acquire him for a good, but 31-year-old, reliever in Wilhemsen, Jones (who has hit in the minors but never the majors and is 27), and a PTBNL.
We’ll see if the Mariners view Martin as THE center fielder for their 2016 squad, or just an option. The Mariners have been tied to various other options like Dexter Fowler, Denard Span, Austin Jackson, and Jackie Bradley, Jr., so their movements here are very notable for the Cubs.