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Transactions: Indians DFA Marte

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Designated 3B Andy Marte for Assignment

So ends the Andy Marte melodrama.

The big trade that brought Marte to Cleveland turned out almost exactly the opposite of what was expected. It was expected that Coco Crisp become an elite center fielder with the Red Sox, and for Andy Marte to become the Indians' third baseman of the future. It was expected that Guillermo Mota would improve an already outstanding Indians bullpen. It was expected that Josh Bard would help the Red Sox reduce Jason Varitek's workload as he neared the end of his career.

None of those things happened. While Coco Crisp did a good job ranging Fenway Park's spacious center field, he lost the ability to hit for power, and Boston this winter dealt him to Kansas City. Guillermo Mota was an immediate bust; and was unceremoniously dumped that August. Josh Bard couldn't catch Tim Wakefield's knucklers, which forced the Red Sox to trade him for someone who could. And of course, Andy Marte didn't hit right away, got hurt, and never got a real chance again with the Indians. He outlasted the guy he was supposed to supplant by just two months, and by that time, the Indians were looking for another third baseman.

Only two players haven't been traded or released since that trade three winters ago: Randy Newsom, who as of yet hasn't pitched in a major-league game, and Kelly Shoppach. Shoppach last season got a golden opportunity when Victor Martinez went down for two months, and he established himself as one of the best power-hitting backstops in the game. So I suppose the Indians "won" the trade, but certainly not how they expected to.

Andy Marte's golden opportunity never came with the Indians. Why he didn't get it depends on your perspective. He didn't hit. He got hurt at the wrong time. His option status worked against him. His manager preferred Casey Blake. He was just unlucky. Marte turned just 25 in October, and many teams will be interested in buying low on a post-hype young player. His defense is certainly not a detriment; he just needs some stability and a chance.

Andy Marte has the potential to be a very productive everyday third baseman for somebody, just not the Indians, who essentially gave up on him after just one look.

(I'll post on Salas later, as I want to give him his own space.)