Andy Marte: Mercifully, It’s Over

That’s right folks, the Andy Marte era is over in Cleveland. In preperation for the upcoming Rule 5 draft, the Indians are attempting to clear spots on their 40- man roster for youngsters that actually have a future in Cleveland. It was announced this morning that Marte was outrighted off the 40-man to AAA and can become a free agent.

Don’t shed too many tears. The guy has nine lives with this organization. I literally wrote this exact same piece two years ago. Knowing Marte, he will clear waivers, end up playing first base in Columbus in 2011 and weasel his way back onto the big league club at some point.

As of today, the disappointing time that Marte spent in Cleveland is over. It didn’t seem like it while it was going on, but the perpetual prospect was an Indian for five years. That is not a misprint. He lasted five years never playing more than 80 games in any Major League season. When he came over in a January 2006 trade from Boston, he was one of the top five prospects in the game.

I know, I still can’t believe it either.

Did the scouts not see the incredibly long, pull-happy swing? Or the fact that he rarely drew walks? Maybe we should have known something when he was traded not once, but twice during the winter of ’05-’06. When does that ever happen to a so-called top prospect.

The Indians had stars in their eyes though. They thought they had the heir apparant to Travis Fryman at third base for years to come. On the day Marte was traded from Atlanta to Boston for Edgar Renteria (it always comes back to him, doesn’t it?) Red Sox Senior advisor Bill Lajoie and then-Braves GM John Schuerholz said the following about Marte:

Lajoie on Marte:

He would be one of the five players you would want to start a ballclub with. This is a throwback type of third baseman. This is the power corner that you hope will hit 25 homers when he does play in the majors.

Schuerholz on Marte:

As painful as it is to trade a player with Marte’s caliber, it needed to be done. The Red Sox got a fine young player


Now take a gander at Tribe GM Mark Shapiro’s take on his new man at the hot corner:

In Andy Marte, we are acquiring a right-handed power hitter who is also a good defensive third baseman. Not only is third base a position of need in our organization, but it is one of the more difficult positions to acquire a player of Andy’s caliber and skill set via trade or free agency.

One would think these three respected baseball men were describing a young Albert Pujols or something.

In the end, Marte’s numbers in five years and 277 games with the Red, White, and Blue reads as follows:

781 AB’s/.224 BA/20 HR/92 RBIs/177 K’s/67 BB’s/.281 OBP/.650 OPS

We also cannot forget how in 2010 he became so brutal in the field at third that the Indians couldn’t play him there anymore in September.

Oh Andy, we had such big plans for you. Its too bad they crashed and burned. Nice guy that Andy Marte, but I certainly won’t miss seeing #25 in a Tribe uniform next year. He disgraced Jim Thome’s number.

Little know trivia – Marte wore three numbers with the Indians – 15, 30, and 25. He was bad in all of them.

  • NJ

    Hell of a pitcher, though.

  • crazycav

    Is is possible those GM’s were spinning it while all along knowing Marte was going to be a bust? I say yes after all you hit the nail on the head when you said you don’t trade a can’t miss prospect twice.

  • Tommy

    Too bad we’ll never know how much Wedge’s jerking him around messed up his development.

    It’s very possible that his skills just never would have translated well to the majors, but when you take all emotion out of it, I’d still rather have him as a backup option than 95% of other triple A guys.

    His game is like a horrible golfer, who shoots 100 every time he plays, but hits just a couple gorgeous shots every round. Enough to keep him coming back the next time and thinking “If I could just hit a few more of those perfects shots, I could be shooting par.”

    Andy’s previous top prospect status and herculean triple A numbers make you think he’s got some upside left in there somewhere…. somewhere deep, deep down in there.

  • MrCleaveland

    And another phenom bites the dust.

  • Vengeful Pat

    @3 Man, I find it really hard to believe Wedge can be blamed for screwing up Marte’s development. He never really changed his swing the entire time he was with Cleveland/Columbus and his defense is something that just flat-out was never there to begin with. I think the Tribe and Mark Shapiro got fleeced. If Boston really thought Marte was a can’t-miss prospect, there is no way they give him up for a player the caliber of Coco Crisp (there were other players involved, but those were the main two players of interest).

  • Harv 21

    Blame Branyan. He kept getting in Marte’s field of vision, subconsiously suggesting the loooong swing.

    Let’s hope you’re not writing the same post on LaPorta in 2 years. If so, they better take a good look at how they scout power hitters.

  • DP

    In hindsight, was this trade all that bad? Seems like nobody won.

    Tribe got:

    Sox got:

    Crisp was supplanted by Ellsbury within 18 months. Bard was a career backup. Shoppach turned into Mitch Talbott.

    In other words, MEDIOCRITY ALL AROUND.

    Hardly a fleecing in either direction. Just one of those MLB trades with four pretty average-to-bad players changing places.

    That said, don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya, Dandy.

  • MattyFos

    Love ya Matre, hate to see you go.

    He should always have a roster spot in Columbus. He is a beast in AAA, like most of our team.

  • PNR

    Can’t discuss Marte without mentioning Brandon Philips. Philips is the reason we took so long to give up on Marte.

  • Believelander

    I’m pretty sure 1 is right, his pitching is phenomenal. You’re telling me we don’t have a bullpen spot for thid guy?

  • Believelander

    fact: Andy Marte has a 0.00 ERA with 0whip and 9 K/9…

  • EB

    While technically Marte was traded twice in one offseason, it’s unfair to think of those trades as 2 separate moves. The Red Sox had an interest in Crisp and the Tribe wasn’t interested in any of the prospects in the Red Sox system as a centerpiece of their return. Shapiro expressed an interest in Marte (#9 prospect in baseball per BA) to fill the hole at 3rd base. The Red Sox traded Renteria to acquire him in order to spin him off with Cleveland to fill their OF hole. While technically this trade was handled in 2 separate moves, it was essentially a 3-way trade.

    As for Marte’s opportunities, he never had the type of extended opportunity that failed prospect Trevor Crowe received this past year. Over the course of 4.5 months, Crowe received 479 plate appearances (~106 PA per month). Marte’s most extended look was the 2 months he spent on the roster in ’09 when he received 175 PA (~88 PA per month). Maybe he never would’ve panned out, but he was never really given a fair shot to prove one way or another.

  • DocZeus

    We also gave up David Riske in the trade who has been a solid reliever for the last ten years.

  • Jason

    I can see why scouts loved the guy, he was fun to watch for a summer in Columbus. Now granted, I don’t think I ever saw him use the right side of the diamond, but he could rake in AAA.

  • mgbode

    so next October we’ll see Marte setting up Kerry Wood who setups up Rivera for the Yankees

    (sorry ,couldn’t help it)

  • NJ

    @12 – I agree completely. In 2010, he started sporadically, constantly flipped between 1st and 3rd. I’m looking at his game logs on baseball-reference now and it’s ugly.

    A lot of that (most? all?) was probably due to his own failings, but I would have liked to see him get two or three solid months of straight pt at one position.

    I mean, you wasted so much time on him already, may as well go the whole way to make sure he’s a bust….

  • Charles

    TD doesn’t hold back any animosity in regards to Marte. Which is just simply pathetic. Here is a guy who never got more than a 2 month stretch to show if he could live up to his highly regarded status as a prospect. But hey, Captain Hindsight, and not the professional evaluators, knew his swing and approach wouldn’t make it in the majors. And of course, getting traded fairly often in a short period says plenty about your ability, right Cliff Lee?

  • Joe

    Before I start my rant let me say this, if Marte is such a horrendous fielder at third why was the starting third baseman pulled out for a defensive replacement over and over again. Yes, Jason Nix came out time and time again late in close games so the atrouciious fielding Marte could shore up the corner.
    I feel also that if Wedge would have given him a shot, a real shot, not just a game or two a week shot, that we may be talking differently about Andy Marte. I think that he was constantly looking over his shoulder in Cleveland. He was made to feel that if he didn’t carry the team immediately then he wouldn’t play. I guess it turns out that he may have been right to worry.
    I wish you luck Andy. I hope that you become the next Brandon Phillips.