The Los Angeles Dodgers have reportedly signed Hamlet Marte to a minor league contract. The front office continues the effort to have every base covered as far as contingencies. Is this move an indication of future transactions?
This move paves the way for the Dodgers to potentially deal Yasmani Grandal. He lost his job when Austin Barnes took over the starting catcher’s role in the playoffs last season. The Riverside native is an excellent defensive catcher, particularly in the department of framing pitches. The front office puts a high value on that skill. The Dodgers may want to save money at the position and pursue other free agents. These factors could make Grandal expendable in the eyes of management.
This minor league signing seems insignificant currently, but with the Dodgers, one move usually leads up to another. The chess match will continue through the upcoming Winter Meetings.
2017 Cal League All-Star
Hamlet Marte was an All-Star Catcher for the Lancaster Jethawks in the California League this past season. Marte shared time at catcher with Chris Rabago at the Colorado Rockies High-A affiliate. Despite the limited at bats, Marte hit .309 on the season, with 20 doubles and nine home runs.
— Roster Roundup (@RosterRoundup) November 28, 2017
Hamlet Marte’s Role in Dodgers System
There is no shortage of catching talent in the Dodgers system, even before the Marte addition. Kyle Farmer, Will Smith, Keibert Ruiz, and Connor Wong all sit on the Dodgers top-30 prospects list. The 23-year-old from Salcedo in the Dominican Republic will face stiff competition in his new organization.
Marte should start the season in either High-A Rancho, or at Double-A Tulsa. Where ever he is, the pitching staff will benefit from his knowledge and game-calling abilities behind the plate. Hamlet threw out 14 of the 37 would-be base stealers for the Jethawks in 2017.
The former Rockies catching prospect is intense in his on-field demeanor. However, he is all smiles and handshakes otherwise. When asked of his 2017 All-Star festivities experience, Marte humbly stated: “it was something special, meeting the guy’s from the other teams. Making friends, it’s always great.” Hamlet Marte will surely be making good friends with his pitchers in Dodger blue in 2018.
Game of Chess
Already crafting the next phase of the organization’s vision, The Dodgers front office persists in the quest for a World Series Championship. This transaction, while not earth shattering, might set up a trade that is considered as such in the near future. The Dodgers may elect to use Barnes and Farmer on the MLB roster, with a veteran catcher at Triple-A Oklahoma as insurance. Grandal’s time in Dodger blue may have run its course. Dodger fans eagerly await the front office’s next maneuver.