The Tampa Bay Rays have reportedly struck a deal to acquire outfielder Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena from the St. Louis Cardinals in a blockbuster deal that will send two prospects and a draft pick swap to St. Louis.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Martinez and Arozarena are headed to the Rays along with the Cardinals’ Compensation A draft pick. In exchange, St. Louis receivers top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore, a low-level catching prospect and Tampa Bay’s Compensation B selection.
Passan first reported word of Liberatore heading to St. Louis as part of the blockbuster deal with the Rays.
Martinez saw limited playing time with the Cardinals during the 2019 season. He hit 10 home runs with a .751 OPS across 334 at-bats. However, his ability to play the corner outfield and first base paired with his outstanding numbers versus southpaws (.329/.397/.600 in 70 at-bats) appealed to the Rays.
Arozarena is a 24-year-old outfielder who ranked as the Cardinals’ No. 10 overall prospect in MLB Pipeline’s rankings at the end of the season. He’s a right-handed hitter that posted a .344/.431/.571 slash line with a 1.003 OPS in 92 games at the Double-A and Triple-A levels this season.
Liberatore is one of the top left-handed pitching prospects in baseball. The 20-year-old ended the season rated as the No. 41 overall prospect in MLB, per MLB Pipeline.
He offers an exciting repertoire with an excellent curveball-slider combo with an above-average fastball. This season at Low-A Bowling Green, Liberatore posted a 3.10 ERA with 76 strikeouts across 78.1 innings.
The pick heading to Tampa Bay will come after the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft, while the selection heading to St. Louis will come after the second round.