Outfielder Starling Marte was long thought to be a strong fit for the Mets, but after ongoing talks never really seemed to get anywhere, the Pittsburgh Pirates ended up trading Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for two prospects earlier this week.
Right-handed pitcher Brennan Malone and shortstop Liover Peguero, the two prospects acquired by Pittsburgh, are both just 19 years old, but they are both considered to be young talents with high ceilings and incredible upside.
Given how much the Diamondbacks gave up to acquire the 31-year-old Marte, a one-time All-Star, former Mets GM Jim Duquette believes the Mets made the right move in passing on the outfielder.
"I think they did (make the right move)," Duquette said. "When I talked about a (potential Marte) deal earlier in the year, they were upper-level guys, but they didn't have us much upside. I think Malone and Peguero are going to be Top-100 prospects. Not this year, but within a year or so.
"I think what the Diamondbacks were willing to do and the Pirates wanted back in return was high upside guys. They didn't care about the timing of it. So, I think when you look at that, and cost and everything else that kind of weighs in to that, and the fact that (Brandon) Nimmo looks like he's healthy - talking to him at Fan Fest, I think he was really upbeat about his health overall. I think they made the right move."
Malone, originally born in North Carolina before playing baseball at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., was selected with the 33rd pick in this year's MLB Draft. He was considered a first-round talent, but fell because teams were concerned about his commitment to play at North Carolina.
Paguero, a native of the Dominican Republic, has played just two seasons in the minors, including Rookie ball and some short-season A ball. He's slashed .299/.354/.428 in those two seasons, with six home runs, 59 RBI, and 69 runs scored.
SNY's Andy Martino has previously reported that the Mets made a strong push for Marte earlier in January, before GM Brodie Van Wagenen reached his walking away point.
"The Mets made a really aggressive push for Marte right after the new year. They were willing to offer some prospect talent, and perhaps some major league talent, but those conversations ended pretty quickly because they came away thinking the Pirates wanted a couple of top prospects or Brandon Nimmo or a Dom Smith," said Martino. "So honestly, at that point, I know there was some Twitter stuff the last couple of days about the Mets and Marte. But this thing died on the vine weeks ago because they were just asking for what the Mets considered to be too much."