The Pirates most obvious in-house option to replace Marte appeared to be Austin Meadows, a Triple-A prospect currently playing for the Indianapolis Indians. However, Pittsburgh called up Jose Osuna who punished the ball this spring training (five homers and .407/.492/.759) in 22 games. Osuna is off to a slower start with his Triple-A ballclub (.250 in 10 games). Meadows is failing to produce in the minors, slashing .162/.220/.270 and would be nowhere near Marte’s day-to-day production.
Here are five waiver wire options to fill the void left in the wake of his suspension.
Rajai Davis – 5.18% ownership
I know he’s old, but even at 36 he’s stealing bases like he’s in his 20s. Davis stole a league-high 43 bases last year and will get a hit every now and again. Davis is also Oakland’s starter in center field and he’s leading off in Marcus Semien’s absence. He should receive plenty of opportunities to contribute.
Jason Heyward – 23.74% ownership
Heyward’s 2016 playoff struggles were well-documented. He hit .097 in 16 postseason games, but offers speed around the bases and a decent start to 2017. Heyward doesn’t hit like Marte, but he’s swiped 20 bags in three of the last five seasons. He also has a career .362 OBP against righties.
USA TODAY SportsRick Scuteri
WATCH: TOP WAIVER WIRE TRENDS
USA TODAY SportsJeff Curry
Steven Souza – 20.1% ownership
Souza is a starter on a quality offensive team. Those are hard to come by on the waiver wire at this point in the season. Souza is coincidentally having one of the best stretches of his career hitting .320/.424/.520 with two homers and 10 RBI in 14 games. While Souza doesn’t have the speed around the bases of Marte, he has five multi-hit games in 2017.
USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Aaron Judge – 37.36% ownership
The 24-year-old Judge has shown impressive power this April. Judge’s four homers are good for fifth in the American League, while knocking in 11 RBI. A player this young is bound to have some flaws, but his power and low buying price are hard to pass up after losing a starter like Marte.
Leonys Martin – 4.11% ownership
Martin is another everyday player with the ability to wreak some havoc when he gets on base. The question is will he ever get there? His .130 batting average to-date is ugly, but he has stolen at least 26 bases every year since 2013. Martin is flawed just like every play on this list, but he might be your best candidate if you’re looking for a player to steal bases at a discounted rate.
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