Why?: The answer is purely offensive. His defense over time has been OK at best, but I’m sure he’s better than Eduardo Nunez and his horrendous routes to baseballs. Martinez, since 2014 has the fifth best wRC+ in all of baseball. He has a .301/.362/.549/.911 slashline over that time frame, 89 Homers, and 258 RBI. Out of those that would actually be on the trade market, he’s the biggest offensive shot in the arm that the Giants could get.
Why Not?: The Tigers already floated the J.D Martinez and Panik talks last season. I am not sure if the Giants are entirely comfortable letting Christian Arroyo take over second, especially for losing Joe Panik, while potentially not keeping him beyond this season. It’s way too big a loss. Now, if the asking price drops a decent amount from the Tigers, then it would be worth exploring. But with him walking at the end of the year, it’s just not worth that asking price, if Panik is in the conversation.
How much he would cost: Well, as mentioned above, the Tigers were throwing around Joe Panik in the initial conversation this offseason. To take Panik off the table It would likely include a top ten prospect, and if that prospect isn’t very close to major league ready (Reynolds, Quinn, Fabian, Suarez), then maybe they’d need to throw in a major league ready lower tier prospect as well.
The bottom line: Unless the price drops significantly, the Giants should really hope someone else trades for him before the deadline, and then they can sign him this offseason without losing a draft pick! That’s the thing with Martinez. He’s the best OF bat on the market, but he’s costly. And that just might not be worth it in the big picture.