Jefry Marte has been traded from the Detroit Tigers to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for infielder Kody Eaves, the teams announced. Marte was designated for assignment a week ago after the Tigers signed left fielder Justin Upton.
Eaves should get the start for the Double-A Erie Seawolves in 2016 and primarily plays second base. He will make up for the loss of Javier Betancourt, who the Tigers traded to the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this winter for closer Francisco Rodriguez.
“At least we got a guy back to make up for that loss,” Tigers general manager Al Avila said.
The 22-year-old second baseman slashed .248/.308/.387 with 11 home runs, 71 RBI and 21 stolen bases across 134 games last season for the Single-A Inland Empire 66ers. The 16th round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft by the Angels has hit .262 with 24 homers and 159 RBI and 74 stolen bases in four minor league seasons, none of which are higher than Single-A.
Marte, who is a 24-year-old, played 33 combined games at first base and third base for the Tigers at the major league level in 2015 and hit .213 with four home runs and 11 RBI. Through 782 games in the minor leagues, Marte has hit .259/.325/.387 with 59 home runs and 386 RBI. Most recently Marte played at the minor league level for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens in 2015.
"[Marte is] a player who has value to us," Angels general manager Billy Eppler said. "He has youth, upside and gives us roster felxibility."
Marte could be in the mix for a bench job in spring, but the Angels might use him as minor league depth. As for Eaves, the Tigers signed him and he will look to get a spot on the roster in the final stages of the 2016 season.