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Transaction Roundup: Cleveland Promotes Marte

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Andy Marte was freed (again). I don't need to go into too much detail in regards to Andy Marte's splits in the minors, thanks to Dan's post from earlier. What I do want to point out is how much more production you can expect from Marte than from the current third basemen, Aaron Boone. Let's use positionally-adjusted Net Runs Above Average (pNRAA) to take a look at the two player's values. I'll use PECOTA projections for Marte's 25th and 75th percentiles, as well as his weighted mean.

As of July 25, Marte was hitting .263/.325/.455 for the Buffalo Bisons of the International League. The league averages were .259/.328/.455; after heating up in June to the tune of .304/.354/.674, Marte has swooned once again in July, coming up with only a .241/.302/.443 rate. There doesn't seem to be much of anything else he can learn in the minors though, so it's time to throw him onto a major league roster and see if he sticks.

Aaron Boone has performed awfully in what is most likely his last season as an Indian. .243/.299/.378, a Secondary Average of .215, an Isolated Power of only .135, hitting homeruns in 2.8% of all plate appearances, and only walking in 6.2%. His defense, which is supposedly his saving grace on most occasions, has been below average. His Zone Rating is .751 (league average is currently .774 at third) and he has cost the Indians close to five runs defensively so far. Here's how Boone has performed the last two seasons, according to pNRAA and pNRAR:

Aaron Boone pNRAA 2005-2006
2005 400 .240 143 -12.50 2.77 -15.86 .265 -13.87 -13.22
2006 244 .231 88 -10.76 -4.30 -14.50 .269 -29.01 -17.02

Boone was poor last year, and this year he is beyond awful. His performance has cost the Indians a few wins the past two years, wins they would surely like to have back (more likely last season than in the current one, but who's counting).

Here's what Andy Marte is expected to do in the majors, according to the PECOTA projections from this winter:

Andy Marte PECOTA Projected 2006 pNRAA
Weighted Mean 358 .279 126 11.90 -2.00 6.42 .269 5.64 4.74
25th Percentile 305 .250 104 -4.91 -1.00 -9.58 .269 -14.81 -10.27
75th Percentile 367 .296 133 24.22 -2.00 18.60 .269 18.98 16.83

At Marte's least productive end of the spectrum, he's still expected to be more productive in his growing pains than Aaron Boone this year. Granted, one should not be wishing for such a rough start to a career (.226/.304/.384), but just know that it's still an improvement. His 75th percentile projects him to be one of the better players on the Indians, coming in roughly +15 runs above average per 150 games played. The most realistic projection, the weighted mean, has Marte as a handful of net runs above average with a line of .254/.335/.445; not exactly all-star material as of yet, but certainly an improvement on the Boone era, and the start of a bright future at third for the Tribe.

Andy Marte's recent inconsistencies in the minor leagues have certainly made me somewhat nervous about his future; the fact that he was dealt twice over the winter for players with sketchy futures/histories sort of worries me as well. Now that he's finally going to get a chance in the major leagues, everything should be a little bit easier to sort out. One thing is for certain though; the Indians are a better team attempting to rebuild with Marte than they are hanging on with Boone.

Be sure to check out Let's Go Tribe for updates on Marte's performance. Those guys have been itching to be rid of Boone for ages.