CINCINNATI (AP) — The Chicago Cubs acquired José Martínez in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday, giving manager David Ross another option at designated hitter.
The 32-year-old Martínez is a .294 hitter with 43 homers and 182 RBIs in 422 major league games. He debuted with St. Louis in 2016 and spent four years with the Cardinals before he was traded to the Rays in January.
It’s a rare deal between division leaders ahead of Monday’s trade deadline for the pandemic-shortened season. Tampa Bay is on top of the AL East, and Chicago is trying to hold on in the NL Central.
The Rays acquired two players to be named or cash considerations in the trade. The team also promoted outfielder Randy Arozarena from its alternate training site.
Martínez, who can play first base or in the outfield, batted .239 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 24 games with Tampa Bay. He had his best season with St. Louis in 2018, hitting .305 with 17 homers and 83 RBIs in 152 games.
The Cubs designated catcher Josh Phegley for assignment to make room for Martínez on their roster.
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