Realizing the Revs may need an entirely new infield than the one that reached the playoffs last season, York signed former big league third baseman Andy Marte Friday. The club also announced left-handed starter Chris Cody will return in 2013.
Marte helps replace former playoff MVP Ramon Castro, who was released by the Revs in the midst of their second-half playoff push late last year.
Ranked as the top prospect in all of minor league baseball by Baseball Prospectus in 2005, Marte never reached the expectations placed on him. But he could be a key player in the Atlantic League, considering his .271 career batting average in the minors.
As former Indians manager Manny Acta told Baseball Prospectus in 2010: “(His struggles in the majors) have been consistently at the plate, basically. Everybody knows that he’s a very good defender. You can put him with the glove at first or third base.”
A 20 homer/25 doubles type of hitter, even in the higher levels of the minors, Marte was traded for Edgar Renteria and included in a deal that brought Coco Crisp to the Red Sox. But Marte, 29, was never able to replicate his production from the minors in the big leagues. He was a .218 career hitter in the majors (2005-2010). But he also never earned an everyday gig at the big league level.
He batted just .202 in 97 games for Triple-A Indianapolis in 2011, his last stint in affiliated baseball. Out of affiliated baseball in 2012, he played in the Dominican summer league. Just 29, he has told the Revs he hopes to return to the big leagues. And he could be a key piece to the 2013 season, seeing as third base is one of the most difficult positions to fill in independent baseball.
The Revs could lose their entire end-of-the-year infield of Chris Nowak, Joe Thurston, Andres Perez and Johan Limonta to affiliated baseball or leagues outside the United State. Perez has already signed a deal in Mexico, York manager Mark Mason confirmed earlier this month.
Cody returns for his third season with the Revs. He went 10-14 with a 4.38 ERA last season. In 2011, he started the season in York before earning a minor league deal with the Braves. In Double-A Mississippi he posted a 3-1 and 3.46 ERA.