Fantasy Baseball: Starling Marte Suspended 80 Games

Pirates Starling Marte

The Pittsburgh Pirates Starling Marte has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for PEDs. Not only is this a huge blow for the Pirates, but it’s massive for his fantasy baseball owners. Marte was a top 25 pick per Fantasy Pros ADP and a big part of the game plan.

Marte has been a stolen base threat over the past four seasons swiping 30 plus bags each season. He put up a career high 47 stolen bases last season. Marte has double digit home run potential, reaching that number in three of the previous four seasons and falling only one home run shy the year he didn’t make it.

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The question becomes what do owners do now with Marte out for 80 games and how do you replace that production? Having a definitive time table definitely helps with the decision but certainly does not make it easy for you.

Let’s start with roster management in redraft leagues. If you have an N/A slot in your league you should utilize it and get ready to attack the waiver wire. He is absolutely worth stashing in these leagues. No prospect has the upside Marte posses even in half of a season. Owners can expect a .280ish average with a handful of home runs and in the ballpark of 20 stolen bases.

In leagues where you can’t place Marte on N/A the decision will be brutal. Like I said, the production should be there over the second half of the season if you can afford to wait. But with the myriad of injuries and DL stays it may be very tough to manage.

In ESPN standard leagues where you have three bench spots it may be a chore to keep him around. That said I’m doing my best to keep him around. It likely removes a streamer spot or an upside stash but Marte is worth the risk.

In shallower leagues I don’t love doing it but can understand if you need to make a move. I may float him to other owners and see what kind of deal you can pull off. If you can get more value than what is on the waiver wire it’s worth pulling the trigger. I would target outfielders in the top 30ish range, names like A.J. Pollock, Adam Jones, Khris Davis or Matt Kemp.

In dynasty and keeper leagues Marte is a must hold. He is a guy I would look to buy if his current owner is panicking. He is a little older that you may think at 28 years old. If you are looking to buy Marte using an active OF may be a good way to look. Names like Kyle Schwarber, Khris Davis, Mark Trumbo, and Adam Jones are all players I would be fine moving for Marte assuming I had a reasonable option to fill the void. You could look at a starting pitcher or another position of depth to make the deal as well.

Padred Manuel Margot

AP Photo – Alex Gallardo

For those of you that lost Marte and need outfield help there are a few names you could look at.

Manuel Margot | San Diego Padres
(57% owned on Yahoo)

The Padres Manuel Margot would be my top pickup if available. He is hitting .262 with three homers and six RBI thus far. He only has one steal on the season but is a guy with speed. Fangraphs projected Margot to get 30 steals this season a number that is still very much in play. The Padres haven’t let him loose on the base paths yet but should soon.

Corey Dickerson | Tampa Bay Rays
(42% owned on Yahoo)

Corey Dickerson has been strong to start the 2017 season. He showed signs of his former self last season hitting 24 home runs and 70 RBI. Dickerson has been put in a position to be successful including leading off. Thus far he is hitting .322 with three homers and seven RBI. He is a great fill in option that can have staying power in your lineup all season.

Hunter Renfroe | San Diego Padres
(53% owned on Yahoo)

Margot’s teammate Hunter Renfroe is another intriguing outfielder to add. He is more power than speed currently hitting .240 with three bombs and six RBI. He also has one steal on the season but I wouldn’t expect more than a couple the rest of the season. I prefer Margot especially if you need speed but Renfroe is a nice fall back option.

David Peralta | Arizona Diamondbacks
(36% owned on Yahoo)

Like Dickerson, David Peralta is rebounding after an injury plagued season. Two years ago he hit .312 with 17 home runs, 78 RBI and 9 steals. Thus far Peralta has displayed a little pop and a little speed with 2 of each. His average of .237 isn’t ideal but it should improve. Something in the .270-.280 range is a fair expectation going forward. Peralta is a good gamble that will give you solid production.

Rajai Davis | Oakland A’s
(34% owned on Yahoo)

If you are looking to add speed and not really worried about other things Rajai Davis is your man. This guy has been 30 plus steals in every season but two since 2008. In 2015 he only played 112 games and in 2008 he had 29 steals splitting time between the A’s and Giants. Five of those season saw Davis go over 40 and one of those was 50 stolen bases. His average has been underwhelming thus far but he should get in back in the .250 range and find plenty of chances to wreck havoc on the base paths.

Max Kepler | Minnesota Twins
(32% owned on Yahoo)

It has been Max Kepler and not Byron Buxton who has been the Twins outfielder to own this season. He is hitting .294 with a homer and seven RBI. He isn’t a masher or a speedster but double digit homers and steals is in play. He isn’t my top pick up for a reason but he can be a useable OF in deeper leagues.

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