That apparently didn’t go well

Braves keep prospect Marte at third |

After two whole days of outfield drills, the Braves decided that they couldn’t make an outfielder of Andy Marte and gave up on the idea. What happened out there?

Okay, the Braves could either shift Chipper back to the outfield (which didn’t work either, and he doesn’t want to do) or shift Chipper or Marte to first base, displacing LaRoche either to an outfield corner or a trade, or trade Marte. None of these is particularly appetizing. I suppose Marte could work at shortstop, though the Braves don’t seem willing to try and stretch him defensively.

18 thoughts on “That apparently didn’t go well”

  1. I wouldn’t read too much into it. They may have just decided that Marte is better off learning the OF after AAA. It sounds foolish — why wouldn’t you want to start him at a new position before he gets to the majors — but all you have to do is look at the number of players he really do acquire a new position during spring training to see that it’s not all that irregular. I take that “We want to keep him focused on his bat” to heart. Makes sense to me that you want to let the 21 year-old solidify his confidence before humbling him out in the OF.

  2. I always thought the long-term solution would have to be moving Chipper to first and trading LaRoche. But how much could we really expect to receive in return for Adam? We might be better off trading Marte because of perceived value. I don’t know, I guess I’ll just let the people in charge handle this one.

  3. Chipper at short would cost us a lot of runs. Especially with our groundball pitchers. I think Marte has to show himself at AAA before we worry about his position in the majors. Too many assets is never a bad thing.

  4. Yes, nice one. Allen, i think you’ve hit it. Just don’t worry about it this year. If he comes up and joins the team, he can be chipper’s backup, or a pinch hitter, and just work his way in.

    I don’t think any of those three guys needs to be traded anytime will work itself out. Just let this guy work on the game he knows and worry about the other stuff when it matters.

  5. In my mind, the fact that they gave up on the OF “experiment” in two days makes me think he did quite well, and that if he had to play in the OF he could pick it up quickly. This news is almost no news. If Marte is putting up a 950+ OPS in Richmond, they’ll find a place for him without giving up time to players who are playing well. Right now, any JS says in cheap talk. This is probably not a bad move for insurance purposes. What if one of the infielders goes down? It would be easier for Marte to step into any of those positions if he’s been in the infield.

  6. They are going to trade Chipper for Ken Griffey Jr. and acquire Marquis Grissom and move Marte to 3rd. With all those guys that play ‘with a fire in their belly’ we’ll win 154 games and our second world championship.

  7. It’s only a matter of time before Chipper moves to 1B. Depending on Marte’s year, they might put a 1B mitt on Chipper next year in ST. He might even play some 1B this spring.

  8. I’m extremely glad to hear Marte is staying at 3B…for now. I can’t see where it makes sense to take one of the top prospects in baseball at a corner infield position, and convert him to a corner outfield position without giving him a shot at the majors. You can ALWAYS move infielders out, but its much harder to move them back in…

  9. If the Braves don’t think Marte is capable of manning an outfield position, this whole thing could get dicey. Chipper (understandably) seems unwilling to go through another position change — he probably finds the notion insulting considering his long and valorous service, and his status as team leader, to be asked to move in order to accomodate a rookie. He may consider a move to 1B, but that would send a promising young player (LaRoche) either to the outfield or the bench, thus creating a scenario where TWO players are playing out of position to accomodate Marte.

    So something will have to give, and I believe it will have to be Chipper, eventually. I like him as much as anyone, but nothing hamstrings an organization as quickly as a proud and entitled veteran making top dollar during the decline phase of his career. If he agrees to a trade, he could bring a good corner outfielder and a ready bullpen arm, IMO.

  10. Trading Chipper ain’t going to be easy at the money he is making and his age. LaRoche has had exactly 1/2 of a good major league season. If a sophomore slump hits him and Marte starts ringing up 900 OPSs in Richmond then he might be the odd man out. I have to believe that the Braves don’t think he can play outfield. With the big time gambling they are doing with the corner outfield positions this year you’d think that if he could they would give him a chance to play with the big club this year if he breaks out at Richmond.

  11. sansho, any random thoughts on which team might be interested in chipper, able to persuade him to drop his clause and also have enough to offer us in return?

  12. I dunno, I’m not very good at coming up with viable trades — contract issues complicate matters immensely. Of course, we wouldn’t trade Chipper this season if the team is in contention, nor should we. Even if we fall from contention, he’s difficult to move during the season — he’s too good to trade for just prospects, and a contending team doesn’t usually give up productive major leaguers. Then of course there’s the no-trade issue.

    But say we, for whatever reason, aren’t in pennant contention in July. I personally could get behind a three-way trade with some random contending team and the Brewers, in which the contender gets Chipper, the Brewers get prospects, and we get Geoff Jenkins and a bullpen arm. Something like that, maybe?

  13. What about Chipper, LaRoche, Hampton and Kyle Davies to the Rangers for Mench and Mark Tex.

    Tex plays first for the next decade, Mench plays LF, Marte plays 3b, we dump two big contracts and our long term prospects look fabulous.

  14. 1. The Rangers would trade a young star and a decent role player for an old star, a mediocre pitcher, a decent role player, and a prospect.

    2. For the last time, Chipper is a 10-and-5 man and can not be traded without his consent, which certainly would not be forthcoming in a trade to Texas.

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