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St. Louis Cardinals trading Jose Martinez to Tampa Bay Rays in 4-player swap

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jose Martinez had 10 home runs and 42 RBIs last season. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jose Martinez had 10 home runs and 42 RBIs last season. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a four-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.

League sources told ESPN and MLB Media that the Cardinals are sending outfielders Jose Martinez and Randy Arozarena to the Rays for left-handed prospect Matt Liberatore and minor league catcher Edgardo Rodriguez.

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The Cardinals also will trade a Compensation A pick (post-first round of the MLB Draft) to Tampa Bay, according to ESPN. The Rays will send a Round B pick (post-second round) to St. Louis in the deal.

Liberatore, 20, is a consensus top-100 prospect in baseball. The 16th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft spent the 2019 campaign in the Ray's low-A affiliate and posted a 3.10 ERA over 78 1/3 innings. He recorded 76 strikeouts, walked 31 and gave up only two home runs.

Martinez, 31, had 17 homers and 83 RBIs in the 2018 season. In 2019, he posted a .269 batting average with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs while missing time in August because of a shoulder injury.

The Rays had been searching for outfield help this off-season to complement left fielder Hunter Renfroe, center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and right fielder Austin Meadows.

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Arozarena was called up by St. Louis in August when Martinez landed on the injured list. The 24-year-old had a .344 batting average in the minors before his call-up, and went 6-for-20 with the Cardinals during the regular season.

Rodriguez, 19, played in the Gulf Coast League this past season. He hit .400 in limited action.

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