With Major League Baseball’s trade deadline looming, the Chicago Cubs have added a new hitter to their roster, acquiring José Martínez in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays.
The team confirmed details of the trade shortly after a report from ESPN's Jeff Passan:
In exchange, the Cubs will send either two players to be named later or cash considerations to the Rays.
To clear room on their active roster, the Cubs have designated catcher Josh Phegley for assignment.
Martínez, who had played his first four big league seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, has two home runs and 10 RBI’s in 76 plate appearances so far this season with Tampa. He is slashing .239/.329/.388, with an OPS of .717.
In four seasons with the Cardinals, Martinez had 41 home runs and 172 RBI’s in 1,288 plate appearances. His best season came in 2018, when he hit 17 home runs and drove in 83 RBI’s for the Redbirds.
Martínez will likely be used as a designated hitter by the Cubs, who needed help in hitting left-handed pitching. He has been strong against lefties in his big league career, with a .319 batting average and 16 home runs in 336 plate appearances against lefties. He has also posted a strong .946 OPS in at-bats against southpaws.