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Andy Marte $igns with Korean club

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Last season, former Revolution (’13) third baseman Andy Marte became the eighth and latest former Rev to reach the Major Leagues.  He also homered in his very first at-bat for the Diamondbacks as a pinch hitter.

While Marte ended up finishing 2014 back at Triple-A Reno, helping lead that club to the PCL Playoffs, one could assume another fine year at Triple-A would result in another MLB call-up for the 31-year-old.  (Marte hit .329 with 19 homers and 80 RBI in 126 games with Reno).  While there would certainly be more publicity and fame with that route, it’s tough to turn down $1 million dollars for a season’s worth of work, which is well above the Major League minimum wage for veterans.

That’s exactly how much Marte will make next season with KT Wiz, an expansion club in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).  He’s been signed as a free agent to a one-year deal, as one of the more remarkable foreign players in that league.  We first saw the news from CJ Nitkowski of Fox Sports. While the former Braves and Indians top prospect has most likely played his final Major League game (he’s played 307 of them), who among us could argue against that type of financial security?

The KBO is a legit level of competition; the Padres just posted a $2 million winning bid for the negotiating rights to Korean pitcher Kwang-hyun Kim of the SK Wyverns.  If contract terms are agreed to in the next 30 days, the 26-year-old Kim should be pitching in the big leagues next season.  Otherwise, he returns to his Korean club.  So there’s definitely some talent for Marte to contend with in the KBO.  Former Revs reliever Julio DePaula (’13-’14), who earned a cup of big league coffee with the Orioles this season after his contract was purchased from York, is also an alum of the KBO.

Here’s to hoping fans in South Korea hear plenty of “Chacaron Macaron” next season.  Marte’s Atlantic League contract was purchased by the Angels after 96 games in 2013, where he finished that season at Triple-A Salt Lake before signing with the Dbacks as a free agent last December.

-Paul Braverman

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