Angels bring back recently non-tendered reliever on minor league deal

Sep 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Jose Marte (68) pitches
Sep 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Jose Marte (68) pitches / Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Angels made a bit of a surprising move by non-tendering Jose Marte earlier this offseason. It wasn't surprising in the sense that Marte seemed to be a big part of the Angels' future plans, but it was odd seeing them remove Marte from their 40-man roster when he hadn't even reached arbitration yet.

Pitchers Jose Suarez and Jose Quijada felt like prime non-tender candidates for different reasons. Suarez is simply an ineffective pitcher, and Quijada is going to miss most, if not the entire year recovering from Tommy John Surgery. Both pitchers will be making more than the league minimum, so it was surprising that the Angels kept both of them yet parted with Marte.

It always seemed likely that after the move the Angels would look to bring the right-hander back on a minor league deal, and that's exactly what happened.

LA Angels bring right-handed reliever back on minor league deal

Throughout his time with the Angels organization, Marte has displayed some good stuff in his time in the minors and even the majors, but command has been a major issue. It's been the main reason why he has a career 8.14 ERA in 25 appearances across parts of three seasons.

When the Angels parted with several players right before September began, Marte finally got his chance to pitch in the majors. Unfortunately, he did not take advantage of said opportunity allowing 10 runs (nine earned) in 9.1 innings of work. His issues, of course, stemmed from walks as he issued seven free passes overall. He's walked 28 batters now in 24.1 innings of work. Just unacceptable from an arm the Angels have given multiple opportunities to.

Marte now has a lot of work to do to get back to the majors, as he's no longer on the team's 40-man roster. Even if he pitches well in Spring Training, he has virtually no shot at making the team assuming they do make some bullpen additions. Marte will have to not only pitch well in the minors, but he'll have to show a big improvement when it comes to his command.

It's possible that we've seen the last of the 27-year-old pitching in meaningful games for the Angels, but the team clearly believes in him to an extent as they gave him that minor league deal to return.

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