Andy Marte released by the Indians

DMZ · February 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

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.


20 Responses to “Andy Marte released by the Indians”

  1. Typical Idiot Fan on February 19th, 2009 4:16 pm

    What could it hurt? Low risk, high reward. Do it!

  2. TomG on February 19th, 2009 4:18 pm

    Sure, why not.

    I mean if you throw enough store-brand pasta at a wall, some of it’s bound to make a tasty dinner, right?

  3. xxtinynickxx on February 19th, 2009 4:21 pm

    Ive been talking about this since I heard he was released! This would be a great low risk pick up and maybe he will like the chance to get himself back on track for a chance to start next season if Beltre does not get resigned.

  4. Slurve on February 19th, 2009 4:24 pm

    How bout Tui… at 2nd base!

    I still like Mangini though despite his lack of power due to his weight transfer inssues during his swing.

    MArte-low risk nice reward type guy. GMZ’s specialty right?

  5. Breadbaker on February 19th, 2009 4:34 pm

    It would be an interesting move. In part because we have to at least game plan the post-Beltre era, may it not occur for another dozen years.

    Speaking of which, I took such pleasure in Jim Street’s report on the workouts, including Beltre being told his WBC decision has to be based on his own knowing of his own body and his need to be ready for Opening Day, and Yuni having to look at five straight batting practice pitches without swinging. A Mariner team that isn’t being told they’d better swing at the first strike thrown to them. Who’d a thunk it!

    Spring training fever, catch it!

  6. marc w on February 19th, 2009 4:52 pm

    Look, I’m the resident pessimist on Tui, but at this point there’s basically no way to think that Marte’s much of an improvement.

    Forget Marte’s abysmal MLB lines; his last two cracks at AAA, he’s been right at league average. Tui’s been close, but a tiny bit above, and he was the same age/a year younger than Marte’s 2006/7.

    Marte had the reputation for having advanced plate discipline (along with power, of course). The problem is that plate discipline never graduated to AAA; he’s run horrible K rates and poor BB rates since 2005. I’d rather have Jesus Guzman, is what I’m saying.

    The other issue is that Marte’s out of options, so to get any value, he’d have to be able to help the team now. He’s not a guy you can hold on to for 3 years to see if he figures something out.

  7. joser on February 19th, 2009 5:06 pm

    You know, that raises something that’s crossed my mind occasionally: for something that was (I believe) intended to benefit players, the whole limited-number-of-options thing can really screw guys who take a long time to figure their sh!t out. It would be nice if a player had the discretion to petition for more options.

  8. tenthinningstretch on February 19th, 2009 5:15 pm

    The only problem with this train of thought is that Marte is out of options…

  9. DMZ on February 19th, 2009 5:16 pm

    Nah — if you’re at the point where you want to just stuff him in Tacoma, and you DFA him and someone takes him, well, no loss.

  10. Sports on a Schtick on February 19th, 2009 5:20 pm

    Get Marte now. It’s not like Seattle is teeming with depth at third.

  11. themedia on February 19th, 2009 5:24 pm

    We all seem to have the same idea: why not? Hopefully Z thinks the same thing. I’d love to see this happen.

  12. coasty141 on February 19th, 2009 6:15 pm

    If diamondview says pass, I’d probably pass too.

  13. The Ancient Mariner on February 19th, 2009 7:09 pm

    Why pass? Honestly, what possible reason could there be to pass? What on earth would be the downside to signing him? The absolute worst-case plausible scenario is the team blows a few thousand bucks for no result; basically, it’s all upside. Go do it.

  14. Paul B on February 19th, 2009 7:12 pm

    Could he be signed to a minor league contract? If no one else signs him, I would guess so, right?

  15. Brent on February 19th, 2009 7:30 pm

    He’s worth the flyer. He reminds me a lot of Jeff Manto at this point in his career. He’s put up some unreal numbers in the past and was highly coveted for two different trades. No harm at all to try it…

  16. TumwaterMike on February 19th, 2009 10:51 pm

    It might not cost much $$ to pick him up, but some one from the 40 man roster might have to go. It would cost it that sense. They already have to DFA someone from the Griffey signing. (LaHair-I hope, I hope, I hope),

  17. diderot on February 19th, 2009 11:40 pm

    If you lose more than a hundred games, shouldn’t you get a 50 man roster and three more moves per player?

  18. edclayton on February 20th, 2009 4:41 am

    Do you think Marte would sign a minor league deal here with Beltre obviously blocking his options at 3B, or would he rather go somewhere that he had a chance to compete for the job?

  19. sherdogg21 on February 20th, 2009 5:40 am

    Jeff Manto? He is a legend in Rochester were I live, one of the all time great single seasons in Red Wings history. He got 9 PA with the Rockies in 2000, hit .800/.857/1.800 and never made it back to the show. Batting practice All Star for sure.

  20. joser on February 20th, 2009 9:08 am

    If you lose more than a hundred games, shouldn’t you get a 50 man roster and three more moves per player?

    They’d never do it, but I always entertained the idea that right at the trade deadline they should let every team with an under-.500 record expand to 30 players (until September, when all the teams go up to 40).

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