Chicago Cubs add Leonys Martin from Mariners for postseason push

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 19: Leonys Martin
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 19: Leonys Martin /

It might not have been as grand as getting Justin Verlander, but it’s effective. With rosters expanding for September, the Chicago Cubs added the speedy Leonys Martin as a specialized player for the stretch run.

While most were waiting on news of Justin Verlander, the Chicago Cubs went and acquired Leonys Martin to give them a highly specialized player in the outfield. He’s a strong defensive upgrade and a threat on the bases, giving the Cubs a threat that couldn’t usually be kept on the roster throughout the season.

As the Mariners starting center fielder in 2016, Martin batted .247 with 15 home runs and 47 RBI. He also snagged 24 bases while offering up solid defense along the way. It’s been a struggle this year, as he played in just 34 games as a reserve outfielder. Without the September roster expansion, this wouldn’t be a deal the Cubs would have made.

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With the rosters expanding to 40 on Friday, this allows the Cubs–and Joe Maddon–to have a player like Martin on the roster. While he did lose his starting spot this season, he’s fared well in his Triple-A contests. He’s posted a .307/.348/.494 batting line with 11 homers and 25 steals in 87 games.

The addition of Martin will allow Maddon more freedom is late-innings situations, especially double switches. The Cubs are also likely to add more arms to the bullpen, which could add to the likelihood of said double switches. This is the freedom that Maddon will take full advantage of down the stretch run.

The Cubs will give up a PTBNL or cash, and the Mariners also gave cash. Meaning it’s possible they picked up a majority of Martin’s contract. Martin may only have a negligible effect on this Cubs team, but having speed off the bench can be very valuable this late in the year.

Next: Cubs win fourth straight

The addition of Martin and not Verlander will leave some Cubs’ fans disappointed. But these are the same fans that can find fault in the recent four-game winning streak. You can’t please everyone. But the good thing is, Theo Epstein and Co. aren’t worried about that.