The St. Louis Cardinals traded first baseman Jose Martinez and outfielder Randy Arozarena along with a Compensation A pick to the Tampa Bay Rays for highly regarded pitching prospect Matt Liberatore, low-level catching prospect Edgardo Rodriguez, and a Compensation B pick, the Cardinals announced.
Martinez has long been pegged as an AL player due to his below-average defense. However, the 31-year-old does offer a solid bat, hitting .269/.340/.410 with 10 home runs and 13 doubles in 373 plate appearances last season. He's hit .296/.361/.458 with 41 homers in 386 games over the previous three seasons while appearing in each corner outfield spot along with 118 games at first base. The right-handed hitter crushed southpaws in 2019, posting a .997 OPS in 78 plate appearances. He's owed $2.125 million in 2020 and has two additional years of arbitration eligibility.
Arozarena was the Cardinals' No. 10 prospect. The 24-year-old appeared in 19 games with St. Louis last season, going 6-for-20 (.300). In 64 games in Triple-A, he slashed .358/.435/.593 with 12 home runs, 18 doubles, and nine stolen bases. He now slots in as the Rays' No. 12 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
"This trade strengthens us not just in 2020, but for years to come and it enhances the group of core players we hope to have for a long time," Rays general manager Erik Neander said, according to Josh Tolentino of The Athletic.
Liberatore was the fourth-ranked prospect in the Rays' system and is ranked No. 41 in all of baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, who moved him into No. 3 among Cardinals prospects following the trade. The 20-year-old lefty was taken 16th overall by Tampa Bay in the 2018 draft. He posted a 3.10 ERA with 76 strikeouts across 78 1/3 innings while playing in Single-A last season.
Rodriguez appeared in 10 games in the Gulf Coast League in 2019. The 19-year-old went 10-for-25 (.400) with two extra-base hits and six strikeouts.