According to MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince, the Indians acquired reliever Juan Salas from the Rays today for infielder Isaias Velasquez. The Tribe designated one-time top prospect Andy Marte (who is out of options) for assignment to make room. Salas had been designated for assignment by Tampa Bay when they added Brian Shouse.
Salas, 30, posted a 2.62 ERA in 44.6 Triple A innings last year with excellent strikeout and walk numbers. Salas’ history includes a PED suspension, a falsified birth date, and a conversion from third base. Aside from that he’s known for his cutter. Salas dealt with an epileptic seizure, a sore elbow, and visa problems in ’08. Velasquez, 20, hit .281/.368/.343 last year in Low A ball.
Marte was a regular on Baseball America top 100 prospects lists – 40th in ’03, 11th in ’04, 9th in ’05, and 14th in ’06. He was traded by the Braves to the Red Sox for Edgar Renteria in December of ’05, and then flipped to the Indians the following month along with Guillermo Mota, Kelly Shoppach, Randy Newsom, and cash for Coco Crisp, David Riske, and Josh Bard.