Discussion: Veterans In Triple-A

One year ago today, the Mets swung a deal for veteran outfielder Trot Nixon, who at the time was hitting .309-.437-.558 for Triple-A Tuscon. While Nixon wasn't much of a boost to the Mets' offense, teams could still look to patch up holes without breaking the bank by acquiring veterans stuck in the minors. Let's take at some guys who have been performing well down in Triple-A and could possibly offer a big league team help off the bench or out of the bullpen. First, the position players:

  • Andy Marte: .321-.351-.530 in 171 PA while playing first and third for Cleveland's AAA affiliate.
  • Shelley Duncan: .310-.379-.670 in 227 PA, leading the International League in homers and RBI, and not by a small margin either. He's played the corner outfield spots and first base for the AAA Scranton Yankees.
  • Hector Luna: .351-.413-.655 in 218 PA, playing first, second and third base for the Dodgers' top minor league club.

Marte has certainly gotten his fair share of big league opportunities, as has Luna. Both could possibly offer infield depth to a team beset by injuries. Duncan has had a tremendous offensive season (not quite a Jake Fox season, though), but swings from the right side, so he's not an ideal pinch hitter for an NL club. Here's some pitchers:

  • Lenny DiNardo: 3.48 ERA, 52-13 K/BB in 64.2 IP, mostly out of the rotation in the Royals' organization.
  • Elmer Dessens: 1.15 ERA, 26-7 K/BB in 31.1 IP, working exclusively out of the bullpen for the Mets' AAA affiliate.
  • Brendan Donnelly: 2.04 ERA, 16-5 K/BB in 17.2 IP, all as a reliever with Houston's top minor league team.

None of these three are strangers to the big leagues. DiNardo could be particularly attractive to a team looking to add another lefty to their relief corps, especially since he could spot start as well. Donnelly has playoff and World Series experience, which has value to some.

Do you see any teams that could be possible fits for these guys? Are there any other veteran players down in Triple-A that could help someone?


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