Andy Marte released by the Indians
I remember when Marte was a super-prospect. I don’t know whether the M’s bring him in or not, but… well, I would, but you know how I’m into weird high-margin pickups. He’ll be 25 this season, his career major league line is .211/.265/.337, and he’s probably People’s Exhibit A in favor of the existence of the “AAAA” hitter (whether that view’s right or wrong).
Yeah yeah yeah, right? His career miiiiiiinor league line is .271/.348/.476.
But this kind of stall-and-redemption isn’t all that uncommon. Jack Cust sucked in a couple of short major league trials and put up great minor league lines beating up on AAA pitching too until the A’s stuck him into the lineup every day. Of course, that’s not entirely analogous, but you get my point.
And look at his progress path, essentially.
2005: Future superstar!
2006: Wow, that didn’t go well, but his AAA stint was awesome!
2007: Ummmm… probably still going to turn out into a regular, if not a star, but maybe not a superstar, how come he’s getting traded all the time?
2008: Yow, he sucks.
2009: What’s below suck?
He was the toast of statheads and scouts for yeeears. This isn’t like PECOTA tagged him as the greatest prospect ever and all the scouts thought his swing sucked, or the scouts loved him but everyone else thought he was old for his level and didn’t walk enough.
I don’t want to raise this specter, but I must — he hasn’t posted a “this guy is going to be great” line since 2005. I wonder if part of the reason no one’s interested any more is because other teams think he was only hitting because he was on steroids. Or maybe Marte’s acquired a reputation as lazy or uncoachable and teams don’t want to deal with him (but then again, there are a lot of players like that who come around to be productive).
Back to my point, though — he’s a right-handed bat, he can play third, though not to Beltre’s standard, while the M’s don’t have a lot of internal options ready.
There’s really two things that happen if you bring Marte up: between the change of scenery, luck, development, what have you, he surprises the world and turns into something quite valuable.
If he keeps sucking, the team lets him go. Or if this is the year they move Tui off third in Tacoma and want to work on his RF defense, you put Marte at third there as your emergency backup in case Beltre breaks a femur or something.