Joe Martinez Rumors

Minor Moves: Buckner, Martinez, Edlefsen, Carter, Ramirez, Hauser, Scammell

The Padres have sold the contract of Triple-A right-hander Anthony Carter to the Nippon Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball, MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports (via Twitter). The 28-year-old Carter appeared in just three games for Triple-A El Paso this season, allowing a pair of runs in three innings of work. The former 26th-round draft pick (White Sox) has punched out more than a batter per inning in his minor league career and owns a 4.93 ERA with a 2.51 K/BB ratio in 680 1/3 innings. In addition to the Sox and Padres, he spent the 2013 season — arguably his best year — with the Red Sox’ Triple-A affiliate. In Pawtucket, he posted a 3.47 ERA with 11.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 62 1/3 innings. Here are the rest of today’s minor moves from around the league…

  • The Padres have inked righty Billy Buckner to a minor league deal, tweets Corey Brock of MLB.com. Buckner, 30, has tossed 155 2/3 MLB innings in parts of five MLB seasons, splitting his appearances about evenly between starting and relieving. His lifetime ERA stands at 6.07, and he has averaged 6.4 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9 with a 44.7% ground-ball rate.
  • Two former big leaguers decided to hang up their spikes rather than continue on at the Triple-A level, according to the PCL transactions page. Joe Martinez of the Angels and Steve Edlefsen of the Dodgers both retired today. The right-handed relievers had both seen relatively minimal MLB action over their professional careers, and were off to rough starts in the season’s early going.
  • The Reds have signed right-hander Elvin Ramirez, per Cincinnati’s official transactions page. The 26-year-old struggled in 61 innings with the Angels’ minor league affiliates last season but had a strong 2.13 ERA in 55 innings with the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates for the Mets in 2012. In 422 2/3 career innings in the minors, the Dominican native has a 4.02 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9.
  • Right-hander Matt Hauser has signed a minor league deal with the Orioles, according to the team’s transactions page. A former seventh-round pick of the Twins (2010), Hauser enjoyed strong minor league numbers until posting a 5.09 ERA between Double-A and Class-A Advanced last year. The 25-year-old has a career 2.95 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
  • The Royals have inked outfielder Cory Scammell to a minor league contract (also via the club’s transactions page). The 20-year-old Canadian was a 35th-round pick of the Mariners in the 2011 draft and spent two seasons with the team’s Rookie-level affiliate, slashing a solid .274/.349/.355 in 358 plate appearances.

Minor Moves: Martinez, Erbe, Liz, Olmsted

Here are some minor moves from around the league…

  • The Angels have signed righty Joe Martinez to a minor league pact, per the club's official transactions page. The 31-year-old Martinez made a pair of appearances for the Indians last season, allowing one run in five innings. He has a 5.82 ERA in 55 2/3 career innings between the Giants, D'Backs, Pirates and Indians and a 4.75 ERA in 548 Triple-A innings. 
  • Right-hander Brandon Erbe has signed a minor league deal with the Rockies, according to the team's transactions page. Erbe, 26, ranked as the game's No. 27 prospect heading into the 2007 season, per Baseball Prospectus, but 2010 shoulder surgery has stalled his once-promising career. The former third-round pick has thrown just 45 minor league innings over the past three seasons as he's battled back from a torn labrum. 
  • The Blue Jays signed right-hander Radhames Liz to a minor league contract, Baseball America's Matt Eddy tweeted this weekend. The 30-year-old was once among the game's Top 100 prospects, per BA, but hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2009. Liz has spent the past three seasons pitching for the LG Twins in the Korea Baseball Organization and led the league in strikeouts last season with 188. However, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reported (via Twitter) that he'll begin the season rehabbing a knee injury. Liz had a 7.50 ERA in 110 1/3 Major League innings with the Orioles from 2007-09.
  • Brewers senior director of media relations Mike Vassallo tweets that the club has released right-hander Michael Olmsted. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel spoke with manager Ron Roenicke about the decision to release the 6'6", 282-pound right-hander. Roenicke said they simply wanted to give Olmsted a chance to get an opportunity elsewhere rather than releasing him later in the spring. Olmsted posted a 5.88 ERA in 59 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A for the Brew Crew last season, but the 26-year-old has an excellent 3.02 ERA with 11.1 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in his minor league career.

Minor Moves: Martinez, Marte, Urquidez

Monday's collection of minor moves from around the league…

  • The Indians outrighted right-hander Joe Martinez to Triple-A Columbus over the weekend, according to the International League transactions page. Martinez was designated for assignment last week and has a 5.88 ERA in 19 games (16 starts) for Columbus this season.
  • The Angels have signed infielder Andy Marte to a minor league deal, according to York Revolution play-by-play announcer Darrell Henry (Twitter link). Marte, 29, once ranked as a one of the game's top 10 prospects, according to Baseball America, and was hitting .301/.367/.526 with 19 homers in 96 games for the Revolution in the Atlantic League.
  • Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com reports that the Halos have signed right-hander Jason Urquidez out of the Atlantic League (on Twitter). Urquidez, 30, was a 17th-round draft pick of the Diamondbacks out of Arizona State back in 2005. Serving as the closer for the Atlantic League's Lancaster Barnstormers, Urquidez posted a ridiculous 0.25 ERA by allowing just one earned run in 36 innings with 12.8 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9. Urquidez allowed just 19 hits as well, en route to a 0.72 WHIP with Lancaster.
  • Four players are currently in DFA limbo: Julio Borbon of the Cubs, Josh Sullivan of the RockiesJason Bay of the Mariners and Yusmeiro Petit of the Giants.


Indians Designate Joe Martinez For Assignment

The Indians have designated right-hander Joe Martinez for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for the recently acquired Marc Rzepczynski, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (on Twitter).

The 30-year-old Martinez allowed one run in five innings of work across two relief appearances for the Tribe this season. In 55 2/3 Major League innings between the Giants, Pirates, D'Backs and Indians, Martinez has a 5.82 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9. Martinez was one of two players the Giants sent to the Pirates in exchange for Javier Lopez at the 2010 trade deadline.


Minor Moves: Figaro, Indians

We’ll track today’s minor moves here…

  • The Brewers have signed right-hander Alfredo Figaro to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to MLB Spring Training, the team announced. The 28-year-old returns to MLB after spending the past two seasons pitching in Japan for the Orix Buffaloes. He picked up some MLB experience with the Tigers before going to Japan, appearing in 14 games from 2009-10.
  • The Indians announced that they signed right-hander Joe Martinez and catcher Brian Jeroloman to minor league contracts that include invitations to big league Spring Training. Martinez, 29, spent most of this past season with the Diamondbacks' Triple-A team, but he did make one relief appearance at the MLB level. The 27-year-old Jeroloman played in just 43 minor league games this past season due to a right knee injury.
  • Earlier today the Tigers announced that they sold the contract of left-hander Adam Wilk to the Korean Baseball League and outrighted left-hander Matt Hoffman to Triple-A.
  • And, in case you missed it, the Cardinals have signed J.R. Towles.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Berken, Albaladejo, Ransom

We'll keep track of the day's outright assignments right here… 

  • The Padres outrighted right-hander Thad Weber to Triple-A Tucson, according to Corey Brock of MLB.com (via Twitter).  Weber was claimed off of waivers from the Tigers in late August and saw time in two big league games for Detroit in April.
  • The Cubs announced that they have outrighted utility man Adrian Cardenas and right-handers Jason Berken, Miguel Socolovich, and Marcos Mateo to Triple-A.  Socolovich spent the bulk of the year in Triple-A for the Cubs and Orioles, posting a 2.11 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9.  Berken was also claimed off of waivers from the O's and posted a 3.50 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 26 Triple-A starts.
  • The Diamondbacks outrighted Jonathan Albaladejo, Tyler Graham, Mike Jacobs, Joe Martinez, and Cody Ransom to Triple-A Reno, according to the official MLB.com transactions page.  Albaladejo spent the 2011 season in Japan and saw just three innings of work for Arizona this year.  Jacobs, 31, hit .279/.362/.486 with 18 homers for Triple-A Reno.  Ransom was claimed off of waivers mid-season from the Brewers and hit .220/.312/.411 in 90 games.
  • The Mariners announced that they outrighted first baseman Luis Jimenez to Triple-A. The 30-year-old appeared in seven games with the Mariners this past September after spending most of the season at Triple-A. Jimenez hit 20 homers with Tacoma, posted a .310/.394/.514 batting line, and was named his team's Offensive Player of the Year. The left-handed hitter can become a minor league free agent five days after the World Series ends. Seattle now has two open spots on its 40-man roster.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


NL West Rumors: Saunders, Overbay, Headley

One round of NL West notes wasn't enough for today, so let's do it again:

  • The Diamondbacks have extended a contract offer to Joe Saunders, and it appears to be for two years, tweets Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. GM Kevin Towers says other teams have inquired about Saunders, and that the D'Backs intend to either trade him or sign him to a new deal, rather than go to arbitration (Twitter link).
  • Steve Gilbert of MLB.com says (on Twitter) the Diamondbacks expect to hear tonight whether Lyle Overbay will accept their one-year offer.
  • The Diamondbacks have agreed to terms with Joe Martinez, who will be added to the 40-man roster, tweet Piecoro.
  • MLB.com's Corey Brock (Twitter link) says the Padres are asking for "the moon" for Chase Headley. They could move him, but it will cost a lot if they do.
  • The Padres are looking at Andrew Bailey and several free agent arms to replace Heath Bell, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (via Twitter). Hayes adds that the team isn't willing to commit more than two years to any free agent arm (Twitter link).
  • The Rockies' waiver claim of Jamie Hoffmann increases the probability of Ryan Spilborghs being non-tendered, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.

Indians Outright Joe Martinez

The Indians have outrighted right-hander Joe Martinez off of their 40-man Major League roster, according to a team press release.  Martinez is now on the club's Triple-A roster, but will remain in the Major League Spring Training camp as a non-roster invitee.

Martinez, who turns 28 next week, came to the Tribe in a deal with the Pirates in January after being designated for assignment by Pittsburgh two weeks earlier.  In 18 career Major League games (six of them starts) with Pittsburgh and San Francisco, Martinez has a 6.16 ERA and a 13.0 H/9 rate.  Originally a 12th-round pick of the Giants in the 2005 draft, Martinez has a career 3.58 ERA and a 3.63 K/BB ratio in 128 minor league appearances, all but eight of them starts.


Indians Acquire Joe Martinez

The Indians acquired Joe Martinez from the Pirates for a played to be named or cash considerations, the teams announced today. The Pirates acquired Martinez and John Bowker from the Giants for Javier Lopez at last year's trade deadline, and went on to designate Martinez for assignment late last month.

The right-hander posted a 4.12 ERA in 19 2/3 innings for the Giants and Pirates last year, walking as many hitters as he struck out (9). He also spent time at Triple-A as starter and reliever, posting a 3.94 ERA with 6.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 109 2/3 minor league innings. Martinez, a 2005 12th round pick by the Giants, turns 28 next month.

Martinez has two options remaining, according to MLB.com's Jordan Bastian (on Twitter). That enables the Indians to demote him to the minors without exposing him to other teams.


Pirates Designate Joe Martinez For Assignment

The Pirates designated righty Joe Martinez for assignment to open a spot for Kevin Correia, tweets MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.  She adds that they also announced non-roster spring training invites for Tyler Yates, Jeff Clement, Rudy Owens, and Justin Wilson.

Martinez, 28 in February, was acquired by the Pirates from the Giants along with John Bowker in the trade deadline deal for Javier Lopez.  He posted a 3.94 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, and 1.0 HR/9 in 109 2/3 Triple-A innings this year.  Baseball America ranked him 30th among Giants prospects heading into the '09 season.  They called him "a groundball machine" with a "sinking 86-88 mph fastball, a true curveball and a plus changeup consistently down in the strike zone."