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renteria-marte-trade | January | 2008 Articles

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Renteria/ Marte trade

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I just wanted to alert you guys to a new piece I had in yesterday's Hardball Times. In line with Alex's article below it is a review of the Braves' trade of Andy Marte for Edgar Renteria. Those with short memories may have forgotton how much bad press we got from this deal. A full analysis of the trade shows there was only one winner ... yup, you've guess it ... the Braves! Here is an excerpt:
The Braves are the unequivocal winners from this swap of talent despite what the doomsayers were claiming at the time of the original Marte/Renteria transaction. John Schuerholz and the Braves have an uncanny knack for jettisoning seemingly high-ceiling young talent in trades yet always landing on the good side of the deal. Many thought this particular deal would prove Schuerholz's comeuppance—they were wrong. The warning signs that Marte may not be quite as advertised surfaced in 2005 when the Baby Braves saw Atlanta sweep to its most recent division title. Marte was promoted to the big-league club but could only muster a .140/.227./.211 line in 70 plate appearances. Meanwhile some of his contemporaries, such as Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann, were blazing far more impressive trails. Although Marte may still rescue his career, he seems destined to go down that well trodden path where many highly touted prospects go, ne'er to return. In the minors he showed a propensity to hit for power while showing tremendous plate discipline at an extremely young age. It was this trifecta that caused Baseball America to rank him the number one prospect in the game as recently as 2005. However, in recent seasons he has lost power as his walks have decreased—a lethal combination. With Renteria the Braves acquired a player who was coming off a rotten year yet managed to post two very effective seasons for the Atlanta club. The deal looks even better when you consider that the Red Sox sent $11m in hard cash too. Ultimately the Braves shipped Renteria to the Tigers for a couple of mid-tier prospects (Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez) either of who could make a significant impact at major league level in the next year or two. The Braves twisted twice and, so far, appear to have hit blackjack (no emails on the inaccuracy of the metaphor, please).
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