Starling Marte has bounced around the Majors the past few seasons, playing for the Pirates, D-backs, Marlins and Athletics from 2019-21. But he's been prolific at every stop, hitting .297/.357/.472 (122 OPS+) with 41 homers and 82 steals over that span. Although he's entering his 11th Major League season, Marte is a free agent for the first time in his career.
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Here's what you need to know about Marte:
Birthdate: Oct. 9, 1988 (Age 33 in 2022)
Primary position: CF
Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 195 lbs.
Place of birth: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Signed: Jan. 4, 2007, by Pirates
MLB debut: July 26, 2012
Qualifying offer: Not eligible to receive one
STAT TO KNOW
Marte is the only active player with more than 125 home runs and 275 steals in his career. There are only three other active players who have more than 125 home runs and 200 steals -- Mike Trout (310, 203), Jose Altuve (164, 261) and Brett Gardner (139, 274).
Marte was one of the premier defensive left fielders in baseball for the Pirates from 2013-16, winning back-to-back Gold Glove Awards in '15 and '16. Over those two seasons, his 39 defensive runs saved easily led all MLB left fielders -- Christian Yelich and Gardner were tied for second place with 14 apiece. But Marte's defensive performance hasn't been as spectacular since moving to center the past few seasons. Will the team that signs with next keep him there or move him back to left?
Stolen-base king .. sort of
Marte stole more bases in 2021 than any other MLB player during the regular season, swiping 47 bags. But he wasn't the stolen-base champion in either league -- since he was traded midseason from Miami to Oakland, Marte's stolen-base split between the National League and American League was 22 (NL) and 25 (AL). Neither of those figures on their own led the respective leagues. Still, Marte did become the first player in AL/NL history to finish in the top 10 in steals in each league in the same season.
Big moments with the Bucs
Marte was originally signed by the Pirates and played the first 7 1/2 seasons of his career with Pittsburgh. Making his MLB debut against the Astros in Houston on July 26, 2012, he launched a leadoff home run off Dallas Keuchel in his first career plate appearance. Marte was part of some big moments for the Bucs -- he hit the go-ahead homer in the 2-1 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field that clinched the franchise's first postseason appearance in 21 years on Sept. 23, 2013. On July 14, 2018, he and Gregory Polanco became the first set of teammates to hit back-to-back homers in both ends of a doubleheader since the Athletics' Reggie Jackson and Sal Bando 50 years earlier.
Persevering through tragedy
Marte's mother died when he was nine years old. And last year, he lost his wife, Noelia, who died of a heart attack while awaiting ankle surgery in the hospital. He wanted to retire after his wife died, but his church urged him to continue playing, and baseball was a welcome distraction amid all the grief.
A diversity of interests
Marte is a self-taught piano player. He also likes to make fitness videos and enjoys high fashion. He works out at the beach and dives into the Caribbean Sea between reps.
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