Leonys Martin Rumors

Rangers Sign Leonys Martin

WEDNESDAY: Martin's five-year Major League deal includes a $5MM signing bonus, tweets Anthony Andro of the Fort Worth Star-TelegramMLB.com's T.R. Sullivan confirms that the deal is official, noting that Martin is likely to start at Double-A.  By the way, Martin is represented by Praver/Shapiro.

TUESDAY: The Rangers' contract with Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin is official, tweets Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald.  The deal is worth $15.5MM over five years.  The Rangers currently have a full 40-man roster, so they'll have to clear a spot for Martin.

Martin, 23, defected from Cuba last year and established residency in Mexico.  Back in September, Baseball America's John Manuel wrote that Martin's "best tools are his speed and defense."  ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. tweeted in March that Martin is "considered an elite prospect."  ESPN's Buster Olney talked to three talent evaluators about Martin in April, with one saying he's "similar to Juan Pierre, with a better arm."  Another called him a "capable, average major league center fielder," questioning the price paid by Texas.

Quick Hits: Rangers, Mejia, Bell

May 2nd was a busy day for transactions 25 years ago, back in 1986. Current Red Sox manager Terry Francona signed with the Cubs and the Yankees signed Tommy John as a free agent. Here’s the latest from around the league…

  • Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin is working out at extended Spring Training in Arizona and his deal with the Rangers should be completed this week, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  • The Mets announced that top pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia has a complete MCL tear of the right elbow. Though surgery has been recommended, Mejia will likely seek a second opinion before having an operation.
  • Heath Bell told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he helps his kids with their homework instead of reading trade rumors. Unfortunately for Bell, the rumors will really be heating up in July once school’s out. Of course trade rumors are nothing new for the Padres’ All-Star closer.

AL West Notes: Felix, Leonys Martin, Brandon Wood

The Rangers and Angels are currently tied for first place in the AL West, with 11-6 records.  The latest from the division:

Rangers Notes: Cano, Martin, Webb, Lewis

Let's check out some Rangers items as they take on the Yankees in the Bronx..

  • The Rangers will undoubtedly be on the lookout for relief pitching this offseason, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.
  • Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter) wonders what the Rangers would look like had they taken Robinson Cano instead of Joaquin Arias in the Alex Rodriguez trade.
  • The Rangers will likely wait to announce the signing of Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin, writes MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.  The 23-year-old is still being processed through the customs and immigration, and it could be beyond this week before he is ready to play for the club.
  • As he works to rehabilitate his injured shoulder, Brandon Webb tells Sullivan that he would be willing to work out of the bullpen as a reliever if that's what the Rangers need when he gets back.  Webb's performance bonuses for 2011 are tied to innings pitched and days on the active roster, but not to number of games started.  The right-hander will earn a base of $3MM and could boost the value of the deal to $8-10MM through incentives.
  • Colby Lewis will return from paternity leave on Monday but the Rangers won't have to risk losing anyone to create a roster spot, Sullivan writes.  It seems likely that either Michael Kirkman or Mark Lowe will be optioned to Triple-A.

Rangers Notes: Young, Martin, Profar

The Rangers top WEEI.com's power rankings for the second consecutive week, despite Josh Hamilton's injury. Here's the latest on the defending AL Champions…

  • The Rangers haven't had conversations with other teams about Michael Young since near the end of Spring Training, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. It doesn't appear that the Rangers will make a deal before his ten and five rights kick in this May.
  • Leonys Martin, the Cuban outfielder who is about to sign with the Rangers, has speed and a good arm, but limited power, various talent evaluators tell Olney. Despite his defensive tools, he isn't yet a Michael Bourn-type defender and may never become elite on defense, according to one evaluator.
  • As Jamey Newberg writes at MLB.com, shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar is bound to appear in future trade rumors, since the switch-hitting 18-year-old has impressed since signing with Texas two summers ago.

Rangers Expected To Sign Leonys Martin Today

The Rangers are expected to sign Cuban outfielder Leonys Martin today for a signing bonus in the neighborhood of $15MM, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.  Martin, who will receive a 40-man roster spot, took his physical yesterday.  Grant believes Martin could become a Major League option at some point this season.

The 23-year-old outfielder became a free agent last month after defecting from Cuba last year and establishing residency in Mexico.  Back in September, Baseball America's John Manuel wrote that Martin's "best tools are his speed and defense."  ESPN's Jorge Arangure Jr. tweeted in March that Martin is "considered an elite prospect."

Rangers Close To Signing Leon’ys Martin

12:57pm: However, Peter Gammons hears that the Red Sox offered less than $2MM for Martin (Twitter link).

THURSDAY, 12:44pm: The Red Sox offered Martin over $12MM and the Rangers topped that offer, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports. Knobler hears good things about Martin from a scout whose team dropped out of the bidding.

WEDNESDAY: The Rangers are close to signing Cuban center fielder Leon'ys Martin to a Major League deal, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The 23-year-old defected from Cuba last year and hit free agency last month. If the Rangers complete the signing, Martin will start his career in the minor leagues.

Baseball America's John Manuel described Martin as a speedy outfielder who plays strong defense. He was a bench player for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and is "considered an elite prospect," according to ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure Jr.

Leon’ys Martin Hits Free Agency, Talks To MLB Teams

Cuban outfielder Leon'ys Martin is now a free agent and has started negotiating with MLB teams, according to Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald (Twitter links). The Cuban defector is now in Mexico.

Earlier in the month, Baseball America's John Manuel reported that Martin's best tools are his speed and defense. The 22-year-old prospect was a bench player for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and is "considered an elite prospect," according to ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure Jr.

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Cuban Prospect Leon’ys Martin Nears Free Agency

Leon'ys Martin is likely to be declared a free agent possibly as soon as this week, ESPN's Jorge Arangure (Twitter link) hears from Martin's agent, Bart Hernandez.  Arangure reports that Martin has been scouted by several teams over the last few months while he has been working out in Mexico, his home since defecting from Cuba last year.

Martin, 22, is a left-handed hitting outfielder "whose best tools are his speed and defense," according to Baseball America's John Manuel, who also notes that Martin had a .492 OBP during the 08-09 season in Cuba's top professional league and "showed at least average range" in center field.  Martin was a bench player for Cuba during the 2009 World Baseball Classic, picking up two hits in seven at-bats.

According to Arangure, Martin is "considered an elite prospect" who looks to earn more than Adeiny Hechavarria and Jose Iglesias, two other recent high-profile Cuban signings.  Hechavarria inked a four-year, $10MM contract with Toronto in April, while Iglesias signed a four-year, $8.25MM deal with Boston in July 2009.

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