Why You Can't Count on Prospects: Andy Marte
In December 2005, the Braves traded a minor league prospect named Andy Marte to the Red Sox for shortstop Edgar Renteria. While Renteria was coming off a rough season in Boston, he was still in the prime of his career and there was reason to believe, if healthy, he had some good seasons ahead of him. It turns out that he did, and Atlanta prospered from them.
Despite that upside for Renteria, the move was heralded as a bright one for Boston because of Marte's untapped talent. Just how much was expected of Marte? At the time, he was the No. 9 prospect in all of minor league baseball. Not the Red Sox system, not the Braves system, but No. 9 among all minor leaguers put together. Later that winter, in desperate need of a center fielder to replace the departed Johnny Damon, the Red Sox flipped Marte and a handful of players for Coco Crisp, so the Indians thought enough of Marte to deal an All-Star center fielder who, the Red Sox hoped, would emulate Damon minus the power at the plate.
Crisp never did live up to the Damon hype, but he still did a lot more than Marte. Three years on, Marte was still unable to hold down a regular spot on Cleveland's roster. He was twice given the third base job to lose, and lost it both times, failing to hit better than .226 in the major leagues. Now, he's been designated for assignment by the Indians, who need to create room on their roster for reliever Juan Salas, whom Cleveland acquired this afternoon for fellow infielder Isaias Velasquez. That's right, the Indians traded away yet another infielder, but when they needed to find room on the roster for Salas, Marte -- who is out of options -- was the player they were willing to throw away.
It's a cautionary tale for teams that become too wedded to the potential of their farm system. Sure, top prospects can change the outlook of a franchise's future. We've seen in happen twice in the past two years in the AL East, with the Rays single-year reformation running concurrent with Boston's infusion of homegrown talent in both its rotation (Jon Lester) and bullpen (Jonathan Papelbon and Manny Delcarmen). Yet for all the success stories, there are many more that end in an organization's disappointment and a tattered career, which is precisely where Marte finds himself until he lands on a new club.
Posted by: hisownfool1 | February 19, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dfh123 | February 19, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: adampschroeder | February 19, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hisownfool1 | February 19, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dfh123 | February 20, 2009 7:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 20, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: jlev4 | February 20, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: pondaz | February 20, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dfh123 | February 20, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 20, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: noahthek | February 20, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: noahthek | February 20, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: dfh123 | February 20, 2009 4:23 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.