Joe Martinez Rumors
As the Cubs and Brewers square off in the first of a four-game series that could have serious implications on the 2014 MLB draft (one game separates the two teams who stand to pick fourth and fifth, respectively), let's take a look at baseball's Central divisions...
- The Twins don't feel that rookie Josmil Pinto is far from being a starting catcher at the Major League level, writes Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The 24-year-old Venezuelan hit .309/.400/.482 with 15 homers and an 83-to-66 K/BB ratio between Double-A and Triple-A this season and has seven hits in his first 10 big league at-bats. As Miller notes, Pinto's emergence makes Joe Mauer's future position "more unknown than ever." Twins GM Terry Ryan told Miller he "doesn't know exactly what [Mauer is] going to end up doing" in 2014. Minnesota also has 25-year-old Chris Herrmann and veteran Ryan Doumit on the roster. Herrmann and Doumit are both capable of playing the corner outfield positions.
- Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski is currently in the process of deciding whether or not to bring Jhonny Peralta back to the club for a potential postseason run, writes James Schmehl of MLive.com. Dombrowski says Peralta was forthright and handled the situation as best he could. The Tigers, of course, acquired Jose Iglesias to man shortstop in Peralta's stead and in the long-term at the trade deadline. Bringing Peralta back would likely displace one of Don Kelly, Matt Tuiasosopo or Ramon Santiago from the roster.
- Bruce Levine and Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com write that Scott Baker will make his season debut for the Cubs this Sunday -- his first Major League start since Sept. 24, 2011. Baker underwent Tommy John surgery in Spring Training of 2012 with the Twins and signed a one-year, $5.5MM contract with the Cubs this offseason. Clearly, Chicago was hoping for an earlier return, but arm soreness in Spring Training of this season shut him down. Baker posted a 3.14 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 for Minnesota in 2011.
- New Cubs reliever Daniel Bard told MLB.com's Carrie Muskat that he was ready to hit free agency this offseason after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox and was pleasantly surprised to hear from Cubs president Theo Epstein when he was claimed. Bard doesn't feel that his struggles have resulted from switching from a relief role to a starting role, but rather from trying to change too much about his arsenal in the process: "I could’ve just taken the pitcher I was in the bullpen for four years and plopped that into a starting role and probably would’ve been fine," Bard told Muskat. Instead, he tried to increase his changeup usage, sink the ball more and change speeds on his fastball too often, and he feels that vast array of alterations was his downfall.
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 Rockies, Jason Bay of the Mariners and Yusmeiro Petit of the Giants.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
The Giants are in talks for Diamondbacks second baseman Kelly Johnson, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. He says the Giants like that Johnson can also play left field. I imagine they're also keen on the fact that he's under team control for 2011. SI's Jon Heyman tweets that the Diamondbacks rejected an offer of Joe Martinez plus another player for Johnson.