Buster Olney today speculated that the Red Sox would acquire Damaso Marte from the Pittsburgh Pirates before the trading deadline. Marte’s been on my radar for some time now and the 33-year old is enjoying a fine season. He has a 3.55 ERA in 47.2 IP and is the new closer with Matt Capps out for the year. Last year he had a 2.38 ERA and a 3.70 the year past, all with the Pirates. He has American League experience, spending four years with the White Sox and boasts an excellent 3.22 career ERA in 453.3 innings and a 1.25 WHIP.
What would Marte command? Two prospects, and they’ve gotta be pretty good prospects, too. Marte is going to qualify as a Type-A free agent, meaning that if he declines arbitration (as he will — he’s only making $2.6 million and can easily get a bigger deal), the Pirates will get two compensation picks for him, one in the first round and a supplemental first rounder (unless the signing team has one of the first 15 picks).
The Red Sox should absolutely chase after Marte and try to nab him because plenty of other contending teams are doing so and Marte would fill a specific need for the Red Sox. Going to three left-handers would be pretty nice, especially one of Marte’s caliber, and the Sox could always get those draft picks if Marte does indeed depart as a free agent. The return would have to be significant, something along a Craig Hansen plus a lower prospect (Jeff Corsaletti?) heading to Pittsburgh.
Would you do that deal? I would.