Seeking to shore up an offense that was in the mid-season doldrums, the Diamondbacks acquired Detroit Tiger outfielder J.D. Martinez Tuesday afternoon. In exchange, Arizona sent prospects INF Dawel Lugo, INF Sergio Alcantara and INF Jose King to Detroit.
“Any time you have the ability (to add someone) that is going to hit in the middle of your lineup, you want to take that opportunity,” Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said.
In 57 games with the Tigers in 2017, Martinez hit .305 (61-for-200) with 13 doubles, 16 home runs, 39 RBI, a .630 slugging pct. and a 1.018 OPS. Since being activated from the disabled list on May 12 (sprained ligament in right foot), he ranks among AL leaders in slugging percentage (2nd), extra-base hits (4th, 31), OPS (5th), total bases (T-5th, 126), home runs (T-6th), on-base percentage (8th, .388) and RBI (T-11th)
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While the Diamondbacks have struggled as of late, going 3-11 over their last 14 games and struggled mightily this year against left-handed pitching, Hazen said their wasn’t an additional sense of urgency to make a deal.
“The sense of urgency happened on day one when we were playing really well,” Hazen said.
Martinez is hitting .474 against left-handed pitching this year with six of his 16 home runs coming off southpaws.
“That wasn’t the sole need for acquiring (him),” Hazen said. “He has done a very good job against left-handed pitching.”
Hazen went on to say Martinez is expected to be an everyday player and hit in the middle of the Diamondbacks lineup.
The Diamondbacks sent over Dawel Lugo, who ranks fourth according to MLB.com among the Diamondback prospects. Hazen said they did give up some talented prospects to acquire Martinez, but they were in positions of depth in the minor leagues, which made it easier to move those pieces.
Could more moves come?
Hazen said the club is making calls to improve all aspects of the current roster. While he said there are irons in the fire, he doesn’t expect any “imminent” deals to happen.