Boston’s Future: Andy Marte

It’s official. Edgar Renteria, and $11 million, are headed to the Atlanta Braves for quite possibly the best prospect in Triple-A, Andy Marte. Marte, a third-baseman, hit 20 HRs in AAA in a pitcher’s park before getting 57 AB with the major league club, hitting .140/.227/.211. Conventional wisdom would be to leave him in AAA for a year while Lowell and Youkilis man third. However, if we trade Manny Ramirez and David Wells and still haven’t plugged our first-base hole, we should think about Mike Lowell as our 1B and putting Marte at third. We can plan our future with Marte because the Red Sox told the Braves that we were keeping Marte.
The Red Sox are getting vastly younger. They’re trading older people and getting extremely solid players in return that are younger. And get this – they’re not really getting worse! The Manny and/or Wells deals are certain to bring us another reliever, and I’m hopeful a shortstop. If not, I suppose Dustin Pedroia is ready, but if we weren’t sure he was ready for second, why would we think he’s ready for short?
Bottom line is that we improved our future with this trade. Unfortunately, Renteria’s replacement will give us essentially what Renteria gave us, which means we got better now as well. I expect Renteria to bounce back in Atlanta, and I’m a little lukewarm on the deal right now. I know Marte’s amazing and I’m glad we have him, but I need to see what the Red Sox do the rest of the offseason before I sign off on this trade for 2006, but I’m signing off on this trade for 2007 and beyond.

The move left Boston without a shortstop, but Red Sox senior adviser Bill Lajoie denied a much-rumored deal that would wheel Marte to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Julio Lugo. Lajoie said he expected to see Marte play for the Red Sox this year, putting him in the outfield or first base if it’s necessary to get his bat in the lineup. (ESPN)