After searching far and wide for a center fielder, the Cleveland Indians have found their man. On Tuesday, Cleveland acquired outfielder Leonys Martin from the Detroit Tigers.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) July 31, 2018
Martin will provide Cleveland with needed stability in center field as a defensive maestro in the outfield.
Offensively, the 30-year-old outfielder doesn’t offer much an exceptional bat. In 78 games for the Tigers this season, Martin posted a .251 batting average and a .321 OBP. However, his .730 OPS in 2017 is the highest since he made his MLB debut in 2011.
Most importantly for Cleveland is the overall upgrade he provides over outfielders Greg Allen and Rajai Davis. The move will allow manager Terry Francona to use Davis’ speed off the bench and Allen can return to the minors.
In exchange for the impending free agent, Detroit acquires 21-year-old shortstop Willi Castro. A switch-hitter, Castro was ranked as Cleveland’s No. 8 prospect by MLB.com.
In 97 games at Double-A Akron this season, he slashed .245/.303/.350 with 13 stolen bases. Last season in High-A, he slashed .290/.337/.424 with 11 home runs and 19 stolen bases.
This is the Tigers first in-season trade this year. It’s an outstanding return given Detroit likely would have let Martin walk as a free agent in the offseason