The Marte Mission

Everyone is weighing in on Starling Marte, so I thought it was time to let my feelings be known.

No. 1, I give Neal Huntington props for showing patience by not jumping Marte to the Majors at the first outcry for him, which was somewhere around the second week of the Grapefruit League season. Having someone vault from Double-A to the bigs is very risky; it can work but, if it doesn’t, the downside is very steep.

No. 2, it appears to be time.

The real Pirates offense doubtless is somewhere between the impotence of April-May and the omnipotence of June, so if the club reverts to being pitching-dependent, it needs both better defense and speed. Misplaying a single ball in right field could spell the difference between a win or a loss (as it already has).

When you talk about Marte giving the team a spark, you could also be referring to his playing style. He plays at an emotional level, and could stand out on a team where many of the players are reserved.

The longer the Bucs resist promoting Marte, the more likely a big trade, such as the one involving Justin Upton. The feeling is that, in the short-term, Marte does more in Indianapolis to enhance his trade value than he could in his Major League baptism.

One other danger with holding off on Marte: The longer you wait, the higher the expectations will become. So even if the Bucs are concerned with him facing too much immediate pressure, the earlier they make the move, the easier his transition will be.

By the way, I am a tremendous admirer of Upton. He will be a major player wherever he winds up. A classic change-of-scenery candidate. However, acquiring him will require a lot of creativity — and perhaps the involvement of a third team — because I don’t see how Huntington could fit his average $12 million salary into the Bucs’ mid-$60 million payroll.

9 Comments

everything was fine here until your last sentence. Is that seriously how we’re still making these decisions? After all these years finally having a chance to do some damage, maybe win the division or more, and we’re still going to stick with that miniscule payroll? Even with the crowds coming to the park? If that’s true it is horribly, terribly depressing.

Let’s be clear that was MY perception. I certainly do not speak for the club. But considering its relation to the whole payroll — not to mention that Mr. McCutchen himself won’t reach that salary level until 2016 — it just seems like an unlikely scenario.

Neal-You have spent too much time and effort to build a minor league sytem that can support a long-term winning team to blow top prospects on any player regardless of whether they help us win this year. I would rather see the Pirates continue their slow climb to glory than blow our future trying to make the playoffs this one year. Keep Marte, promote him now if he’s ready. Let Heredia develop, a rotation of JMac, Cole, Taillon, Heredia and Owens sounds awfully good.

I certainly agree, Tom. It is time……time to play him or time to trade him. In the meantime Starling could struggle with the big club and still put up better numbers than our corner outfielders.

Jim Brown – As I understand it, Upton would be around for 3 years. I can totally appreciate your POV to keep the prospects now, but if we can get an established MLB’er with some upside left in him for 3 years, that’s worth shipping off a couple of highly reputed yet unproven prospects. Neal will get this deal done once the D’backs get a little more desperate. I’m confident NH won’t overpay.

I hope we all agree that the rumored deal of Heredia, Marte, and Hanson for Upton is not in the Pirates’ best long-term interest. I wouldn’t give up Marte who we control for much more than three years at a minimum salary and who has similar upside to Upton. If we could substitute Latimore or Presley for Marte and our tradable draft pick for Heredia, I would be willing to give up on Hanson. An OF of Cutch, Upton and Marte with my dream rotation would make me a very happy Pirate fan. The last twenty years would be worth suffering through for a return to glory.

I agree with Jim Brown. Let’s not blow our future just to get Upton. Now, if we were trading prospects to get Kershaw or Kemp (even with a hammy injury), I’d say pull the trigger. But, we saw what the Lee and Ludwig experiment netted us last year– another big fat sub .500 season. Keep our prospects and show some restraint and patience. Upton is not (by any means) going to put us in the driver’s seat. Let this year’s crew see what they can do. Keep looking for low risk, high payoff deals like Sutton.

I AM NOT SURE I WOULD GIVE UP MARTE FOR UPTON. BUT I WOULD GIVE UP OTHER TOP PROSPECTS FOR HIM IF I COULD ASSURE MYSELF THAT HE IS PHYSICALLY HEALTHY AND DOES NOT HAVE A DRUG OR ALCOHOL PROBLEM..HE IS A YOUNG PLAYER SO IT WOULD NOT BE LIKE GIVING UP YOUNG PROSPECTS FOR A 35 YEAR OLD VETERAN. I HAVE BEEN VISITING MANY SITES LIKE THIS HOPING NEAL HUNTINGTON WILL SEE MY POSTS. I THINK TWO GOOD YOUNG PROSPECTS I WOULD LIKE TO ACQUIRE ARE IN COLORADO WITH THE ROCKIES. ONE IS CATCHER ROSARIO {15 HR} THE OTHER IS SS RUTLEDGE. BOTH IMPRESSED ME IN THE RECENT SERIES WITH THE PIRATES.. BOTH COULD BE AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WERE JUST FILLING IN FOR REGULAR CATCHER HERNANDEZ AND ALL STAR SS TULOWINSKI{SPELLING NOT GOOD}NOW THERE IS A DEAL WHERE I WOULD TAKE THOSE TWO PLUS THAT YOUNG OUTFIELDER BROWN FOR MARTE AND ONE OF OUR PITCHING PROSPECTS. NEAL PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THIS WE GET 2 YOUNG PLAYERS WHO CAN PLAY AT THE ML LEVEL RIGHT NOW FOR SURE PLUS A THIRD PLAYER WHO HAS HIT EVERYWHERE HE HAS PLAYED FOR TWO GOOD PROSPECTS. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CONVINCE THE ROCKIES GM.

NH do what you think is right.i trust you and so far you are doing a great job.the proof is in the pudding.forget what all these people say and do your thing.lets go bucs.

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