Monday, June 16, 2008

The Rumor Mill: LHP Damaso Marte

Can the Yankees Finally Work Out a Deal for Marte?In Joel Sherman’s Sunday column, the NY Post scribe stated “the Yanks are working hardest at finding a lefty specialist for their bullpen, with Pittsburgh's Damaso Marte remaining the top priority.”

Marte’s name has surfaced as a possible trade target for years. With the 33-year-old in the final year of his two-year, $4.7 million contract, the likelihood of a deal has never been higher. Since 2002, Marte (4-0, 3.51 ERA, 13 holds) has been among the most efficient left-handed specialists. After two terrible outings to open the season, he’s recently returned to form.

The Yankees, who briefly experimented with spring training-invitee Billy Traber in their bullpen, do not currently have a lefthander working out of the bullpen. In fact, the Yankees haven’t had a reliable option since Mike Stanton left (the first time) after the 2002 season.

Having transitioned Joba Chamberlain to the rotation, the resulting effect on the bullpen has been documented ad nauseam. Joe Girardi would undoubtedly benefit from the ability to mix-and-match his relievers.

The problem? Apparently the Yankees Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington differ on Marte’s value. The Pirates want greater value than the two draft picks they would receive in compensation if Marte’s $6 million option is declined and they offered him arbitration (assuming he’s considered a Type-A free agent).

It’s unclear exactly what Pittsburgh wants in return but the fact that Marte has long been rumored to be on the market, yet is still a buccaneer, is telling. It would not surprise me if the Huntington was demanding Alan Horne or a prospect of his caliber – especially since the trade deadline is still a month and half away.

A more likely package would consist of an MLB-ready prospect (like Jeffrey Marquez, Daniel McCutchen, or Brett Gardner) and another lower-level project.

Marte was once a Yankee prospect. He was traded to the Pirates in a short-sighted swap for Enrique Wilson back in 2001.


Chad said...

If the Yankees have an intention of making a push this year, a lefty is a must.

We should have never dealt Marte in the first place. I hated that deal from day one.

Dude, your blog is awesome. Keep the posts coming!

Anonymous said...

with wang out we need to focus on the rotation