Like every other team in Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians employ numerous players throughout their organization, from the big-league club in Cleveland to their rookie league team in Arizona and beyond. And like every other Major League franchise, the Indians add and subtract from this player pool on a regular basis. This irregular series will serve to post notice when a former Indians player has done something noteworthy with a quick look back at the player’s time in Cleveland.
Player: 3B/1B/RP Andy Marte
Current Team: Reno Aces (AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks)
Year(s) in Indians Organization: 2006-2010 (granted free agency Nov. 6, 2010)
Why He Still Isn’t in Cleveland:
Lack of consistent playing time and Performance. Eric Wedge and Manny Acta. Because sometimes, things just don’t work out. Andy Marte was the big return for the Indians in a seven-player trade with the Boston Red Sox, a top-prospect third baseman Cleveland hoped would plug the hole at the hot corner. The trade sent fan-favourite OF Coco Crisp to Boston as the main piece leaving Cleveland, and Marte was almost immediately buried by the expectations. Marte was called up for the second half of 2006, and was actually the Indians’ Opening Day third baseman in 2007, before being injured in late April and losing his job to Casey Blake. Marte never lived up to the lofty expectations placed on him, though it’s worth pointing out that after the second half of 2008 he never received anything close to regular playing time in Cleveland (and somehow appeared in 81 games in 2010, but had fewer than 200 ABs with 170). In his time with Cleveland, Marte posted -1.0 fWAR and was allowed to walk after 2010. But hey, he struck out Nick Swisher.
What He Did: Marte signed a minor-league deal with Arizona in December, and has been playing third base with the Aces. The PCL is a hitter-friendly league, and Marte is now 30, so take these numbers with however much salt is needed, but Marte has been raking. 12 home runs, 38 RBI and a .312/.373/.532 slashline in 66 games and 231 ABs
(or, 61 more ABs than Marte had in 81 games in Cleveland in 2010).
What Does the Future Hold: A lot of this depends on Marte himself. His comeback has been fun to see, but he’s not on Arizona’s 40-man roster, where the Diamondbacks have Martin Prado. However, if he continues to hit and play as well as he has been, it’s not inconceivable to think another MLB team wouldn’t be interested in Marte as infield depth at some point this offseason, giving Marte another chance to make it back. It’s unlikely Cleveland would be interested in a reunion, particularly with the emergence of Lonnie Chisenhall at 3B, but there could certainly be a team willing to take a cheap flier in the hopes that Marte can prove himself. He can always pal around with other ex-Indians players like RHP Jess Todd and OF Aaron Cunningham, both on the Aces roster.
There’s always the slight possibility Marte decides to head to the mound to continue his career.
Notice a player you remember being in the Indians organization? We’re ever-vigilant, but sometimes we miss guys, too! Send us an email at [email protected] and let us know which former Indians farmhand or player is making noise elsewhere.