The Tampa Bay Rays and St. Louis Cardinals dipped into their most ample assets to address needs on Thursday, announcing a trade that sends outfielders Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena from St. Louis to Tampa Bay in exchange for highly touted left-hander Matt Liberatore and catching prospect Edgardo Rodriguez.
The Cardinals will also send the Rays a competitive-balance Round A (38th overall, used between the first and second rounds of the draft) pick to the Rays, and get in return a Round B pick (66th overall, used between Rounds 2 and 3).
According to a report, the Rays and Cardinals were in talks with other teams during negotiations. The Rays are in need of outfield help and have perhaps the deepest farm system in baseball, while the Cardinals have a gluttony of outfielders and are getting one of the top lefty prospects in the league in the 20-year-old Liberatore. Tampa selected him No. 16 overall in 2018.
Liberatore is 8-4 with a 2.59 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) in the minors, with 113 strikeouts in 111.0 innings pitched. He was 6-2 with a 3.10 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) for Bowling Green of the Class-A Midwest League in 2019.
Martinez, 31, is a career .298 hitter over three-plus seasons. He hit .269 with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs in 2019. In 2018, Martinez hit .305 with 17 home runs and 83 RBIs.
Arozarena, 24, hit .300 in 20 at-bats after making his major league debut with the Cardinals last season. He was hitting .344 in the minors before his call-up.
The Rays currently have Hunter Renfroe, center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and right fielder Austin Meadows as their starting outfielders.
According to ESPN, the Cardinals have also discussed trading outfielder Dexter Fowler and have top prospect Dylan Carson close to being ready for his shot with the big club.
Rodriguez, 19, hit .400 with six RBIs over 10 games (25 at-bats) in rookie ball in 2019.