J.D. Martinez of the Detroit Tigers has been considered as the most coveted position player on the market throughout the month of July, and in the early evening hours on Tuesday, Martinez found himself being shipped off to the Arizona Diamondbacks for prospects Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara, and Jose King. The Tigers officially announced the trade shortly after Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports and Jon Morosi of MLB.com confirmed reports of his trade.
The #Tigers have acquired INF's Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara & Jose King from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for OF J.D. Martinez.
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 18, 2017
Martinez, 29, will help fill a distinct void in the outfield for the Diamondbacks, who desperately needed help against left-handed pitching, as the club owns the second-worst OPS against lefties in the National League. Martinez went to Detroit in 2014 on a minor-league deal after being released by the Houston Astros, and was called up in early April. What occurred afterwards was a breakout, as Martinez slashed .300/.361/.551 and has hit 99 home runs and driven in 258 in 458 games with the Tigers since his call-up. This included a tremendous 2015 season that included 38 home runs and a top 15 finish in the American League MVP voting. However, Martinez has been plagued a bit by an injury bug, with an elbow fracture that led to a significant absence in 2016 and, just as recently as Monday night, lower back tightness.
Going to Detroit will be middle-infield prospects Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara, and Jose King. Lugo and Alcantara ranked as Arizona’s #4 and #15 prospects, per MLB.com, respectively. Lugo has slashed .281/.325/.428 in Double-A and has a tentative ETA of 2018. This means that the Tigers could potentially move Ian Kinsler to open up a spot for Lugo. Alcantara has slashed .279/.344/.362 in Single-A Advanced, but is viewed as a potential utility guy if he reaches the majors. Jose King is viewed likewise, but at 18 years of age, he has quite a way to go before he is given a serious look at cracking a 40-man roster at the major league level. It is currently unknown where Lugo, Alcantara, and King will place in the Tigers’ Top 30 prospect pool.
For Arizona, the acquisition of Martinez just brings another fearsome name to a roster that already includes the likes of Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, and David Peralta. However, Martinez is only a rental, as his 2-year contract extension that he signed with Detroit prior to the 2016 season will expire in the fall. Nonetheless, the Diamondbacks got a steal, giving up only one highly-touted prospect from a lackluster farm system, a cheap price for such a dominant player. The Diamondbacks will hope to ride Martinez’s hot bat into the playoffs, potentially a Wild Card berth, as the Los Angeles Dodgers have begun to run away with the division title.