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Indians Would Have Included Andy Marte in Jason Bay Deal

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-P- This is interesting:

According to one informed source, Cleveland was willing to include top third-base prospect Andy Marte in at least one phase of its ill-fated traded talks with the Pirates regarding Jason Bay in early December.

If I were the Pirates' GM, I still would only have made that deal depending on what else was being offered. But I also think that Marte is exactly the sort of player the Pirates should be trying to acquire. He was once once of the best prospects in baseball - Baseball Prospectus had him at the top of their prospects list in early 2005. But he hit a wall after performing well at the Braves' Class AAA affiliate in 2005 - he couldn't get playing time with Atlanta, who had Chipper Jones at third. The Braves dealt him to Boston, who then sent him to Cleveland, where he took steps backwards at Class AAA Buffalo in 2006 and 2007.

You have to be suspicious of any prospect the Braves are willing to trade away. And while Marte has never been the undisciplined hacker that, say, Chad Hermansen was, he always had relatively high strikeout rates in the minors, so maybe that's catching up with him.

It's also possible, though, that he has B.J. Upton syndrome - top prospects can sometimes stagnate if left in the high minors too long, and that stagnation doesn't always carry over if they're given a real opportunity in the majors (as was the case with Upton). If the Pirates acquired Marte, they could move Jose Bautista back to super-sub status and give Marte 500 at bats to see if he could recover some of what he lost in Class AAA. If not, it probably still wouldn't burn the Pirates that badly, because Marte is a lot better defensively than Bautista.