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Detroit Tigers Designate Jefry Marte for Assignment

Aug 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Jefry Marte against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Jefry Marte against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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In order to make space on the 40-man roster for Justin Upton, the Detroit Tigers designated Jefry Marte for assignment.

After announcing the signing of star outfielder Justin Upton, the Detroit Tigers had to make room on the 40-man roster. Detroit announced, via the Tigers’ public relations Twitter account, that Jefry Marte was designated for assignment.

Marte spent one season in the Tigers organization after coming over from the Oakland Athletics as a minor-league free agent.

The 24-year-old started the season with Triple-A Toledo, where in 95 games he hit .275. To go along with the batting average, the infielder also posted a .341 on-base percentage, a .487 slugging percentage and a .828 OPS. What’s more, he smacked 25 doubles, 15 home runs, three triples and drove in 65 runs.

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Able to play both third base and first base, Marte earned a promotion to the Major League team. In a 33-game stint with the Detroit Tigers, the right-handed batter only hit .213 with a .284 on-base percentage, a .413 slugging percentage and a .697 OPS.

Marte added four doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI during his brief time with the Tigers. On the whole, his WAR at the big league level was -0.1.

The move certainly makes sense for Detroit. Unlike fellow utility players Andrew Romine and Mike Aviles, Marte is only able to play two different positions. At both positions, the former Oakland prospect was buried on the depth chart.

Miguel Cabrera was an obvious road block at first base. When healthy, the future Hall of Famer generally logs upwards of 150 games at the position. Victor Martinez and Romine can also handle first base. 

Over at the hot corner, Marte was again blocked by a regular who plays around 150 games per season. Nick Castellanos has played 148 and 154 games respectively in each of his first two seasons as a full-time regular. The 23-year-old Castellanos is part of the Tigers’ long-term plans and is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon. Romine and Aviles also have the ability to play third base.

Marte could provide value to a team looking for a young, first-base platoon options. During his brief time with Detroit, the infielder hit .270 with a .920 OPS against left-handed pitching. Three of the player’s four home runs came against lefties.

It’s also unsurprising that it was Marte who was designated for assignment. A case could be made for one of the relievers who are low on the totem pole, but the likes of Buck Farmer, Angel Nesbitt, Jeff Ferrell and Kyle Ryan all have potential in addition to the opportunity for more playing time than a player like Marte. Additionally, position players like Romine and Aviles bring value with defensive flexibility alone. 

Next: Examining Justin Upton's Stats and Splits

This may be the last transaction we see from the Detroit Tigers for a while. The team has checked every box in terms of offseason needs and has already announced a long list of non-roster invitees for Spring Training.

However, with the way this offseason has gone, you never know.