D'Backs Trading for Proven PED User Starling Marte Shows Stunning Change in Philosophy for Owner Ken Kendrick

Starling Marte against the St. Louis Cardinals
Starling Marte against the St. Louis Cardinals | Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman and proven PED user Starling Marte was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday. In return, Pittsburgh is receiving prospects Liover Peguero and Brennan Malone alongside $250,000 in international spending money. The Pirates will also reportedly pay down $1.5 million of Marte’s remaining contract.

The trade for Marte marks the highest-profile PED user that the Diamondbacks have ever acquired under the ownership of Ken Kendrick, who was outspoken at the end of the steroid era about refusing to roster players who were found guilty of PED use.

In 2006, Kendrick cut relief pitcher Jason Grimsley after federal officials found evidence of human growth hormones in his home. In 2013, Arizona had a chance to bring aboard Nelson Cruz but Kendrick wouldn't stand for it, due to Cruz's history with PEDs.

That history of hard stances against players with a history of PEDs seems to be null and void for Kendrick and the D-Backs following the addition of Marte, who was banned for half a season in 2017.

Marte, at 31 years of age, is just a one-time All Star but is coming off a career-best season in home runs with 23. The Diamondbacks have just one playoff win to their name since 2011, the 2017 Wildcard win over Colorado, and haven't advanced to the NLCS since 2007.

Arizona had to fight off the New York Mets and San Diego Padres for Marte's services, so their pursuit for the outfielder was an aggressive one, especially for a player with a history that opposes the philosophy of ownership.