I’m not dumb. I knew this day was coming. You could see it from a mile away. Hell, I’m surprised it took this long.
Of course, this means nothing. Marte is El Gato – he has nine lives. He’s been designated for assignment before, and no team claimed him. There’s a chance we could still see Marte in the organization next year.
But for all intents and purposes, we’ve seen the end of the Andy Marte era (which spanned five years – FIVE!). For the sake of Marte’s career, I hope he doesn’t end up in the Indians organization again. He had used up his chances, fair or unfair, and was simply dead man walking.
S0 why am I still writing about this?
Marte was an utter failure as a top prospect (yeah… that didn’t work out). But if you’ve been a reader of Deep Left Field you should recall that I feel the Indians’ treatment of Marte has been ridiculous. No prospect could develop the way the Indians handled Marte. Some players just don’t perform without consistent playing time and not every player can be like Carlos Santana and provide an impact right away. People jump all over Eric Wedge for running Brandon Phillips out of town, but he did the same injustice to Marte. I find it hilarious that Wedge is taking over another young team in Seattle, because he’s the reason Phillips is in Cincinnati and Marte sucks.
The difference between Marte and Phillips (besides that whole production thing)? Marte stayed. And let it get to his head. He was a wreck this season, .298 OBP in 170 ABs. The guy who scouts said would hit 25 home runs a year in the majors hit only 20 in five years with the Indians. His defense went to the crapper as well. It was clear the damage was done.
But it didn’t have to be this way.
Look, Marte was probably never the uber-prospect he was thought to be. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t have been a serviceable player if he was simply handled better. I will defend this position until the day I die. I actually hope Marte latches on somewhere and proves me right.
But whether I’m right or wrong, Marte is the face of the failures of this Indians organization since 2005. The guy was traded for fan favorite Coco Crisp, and Marte flopped, much like the Indians themselves. We may never know whether I’m right and he was just mishandled, or whether pretty much everyone else was right and the Indians just made a gross misjudgment on talent. But we do know Marte is a poster child for these teams: all projection, no production.
The Marte Par-tay is over. And like everything Indians lately, it ends in disappointment. It didn’t have to be this way, but this is the way that it is.
For my own closure, I’d like to write the epitaph on the tombstone for his Cleveland Indians career:
“Hell of a relief pitcher. Too bad he was a third baseman.”