The 33-year-old Martinez has never hit much in the Majors but brings some defensive versatility to the Red Sox’ depth chart. Though he’s just a .199/.244/.272 hitter at the big league level, Martinez does have experience at second base, third base, shortstop and all three outfield positions. He batted .283/.306/.383 in 63 trips to the plate with Cleveland this season and is a lifetime .282/.336/.395 hitter in parts of nine seasons at the Triple-A level.
The Indians have announced that they’ve designated utilityman Michael Martinez for assignment. The move clears space on the team’s active roster for lefty Shawn Morimando and on their 40-man roster for righty Joe Colon. The team selected Colon’s contract and optioned him to Triple-A Columbus. Morimando’s exact role with the team has yet to be announced, although it’s reasonable to assume his promotion has something to do with the Indians having played a 19-inning game against the Blue Jays yesterday and needing a fresh arm for today.
The veteran Martinez has batted .283/.306/.383 in 63 plate appearances for the Indians this season, playing second, third and all three outfield positions. That’s a considerably better offensive showing than he’d previously shown in his six-year big-league career, in which he’s batted just .199/.244/.272.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the league.
- The Marlins have placed right-hander Kendry Flores on the 15-day DL with a strained pitching shoulder, per a team announcement. Flores, whom the Marlins recalled from Triple-A prior to their Saturday doubleheader, left his start against the Nationals after three shutout innings because of the injury. It was the first big league action of the year for Flores, who threw 12 2/3 innings of 4.97 ERA ball, struck out nine and walked four with the Marlins last season.
- Catcher Michael McKenry has opted out of his minor-league deal with the Rangers, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tweets. McKenry was batting .220/.389/.341 for Triple-A Round Rock after agreeing to terms on a minor-league deal in December. He hasn’t yet played in the big leagues this season even as the Rangers have used four different catchers at the Major League level. McKenry, now 31, is a career .239/.319/.407 hitter in parts of six seasons with the Rockies and Pirates.
- The Braves have released minor-league catcher Ryan Lavarnway, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. The Braves’ recent acquisition of Anthony Recker likely meant the Braves had less playing time for Lavarnway, but given Lavarnway’s career .374 minor-league OBP, he should be able to find work elsewhere. He has appeared in the last five big-league seasons, spending time with Boston and Baltimore in addition to Atlanta.
- The Indians have announced that they’ve selected the contract of infielder/outfielder Michael Martinez, who also played briefly for them last season. The five-year MLB vet was batting .288/.351/.442 for Triple-A Columbus. Martinez will take the place of Michael Brantley, who is heading to the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation. Brantley had surgery on the shoulder in the offseason. Via MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (on Twitter), however, a recent shoulder MRI didn’t reveal any serious problems. Brantley was off to a slow start this season, batting just .231/.279/.282 since making his season debut in late April. To clear space for Martinez on their 40-man roster, the Indians transferred catcher Roberto Perez (hand) to the 60-day DL.
- The Dodgers have released utilityman Elian Herrera to give him an opportunity to play in Japan, Alex Freedman of the Oklahoma City Dodgers tweets. Herrera was hitting .218/.308/.238 for Oklahoma City while playing shortstop, second, third and left field. He batted .242/.290/.395 with the Brewers last season before signing a minor-league deal with the Dodgers last winter.
- The Twins have signed utilityman Thomas Field, as Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press tweets. Field has been assigned to Triple-A Rochester. The 29-year-old has played sparingly in parts of four seasons in the big leagues. He began the season with the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate in Toledo, but he was released after playing just 15 games there. He spent most of last season with Triple-A Round Rock in the Rangers system, batting .247/.347/.439 over 435 plate appearances and playing second base, shortstop and the corner outfield positions.
Here are today’s minor moves from around the game.
- The Mets have announced that they’ve signed second baseman, third baseman and outfielder Ty Kelly to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Kelly, 27, established himself as a solid hitter coming through the minors, but he had a down year with the Cardinals’ and Blue Jays’ Triple-A affiliates in 2015, combining for a .222/.322/.296 line in 429 plate appearances, including just 16 extra-base hits. He had hit for more power in Triple-A in previous seasons, though, and his versatility and willingness to take walks (he has 486 walks and 484 strikeouts in his minor league career) give him value on a Triple-A roster.
- The Indians have agreed to terms with infielder/outfielder Michael Martinez on a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite, Chris Cotillo of SB Nation tweets. Martinez opted free agency after refusing an outright assignment earlier this week. Martinez collected 32 big-league plate appearances in 2015 but spent most of the season at Triple-A Columbus, where he batted .289/.344/.424 over 401 plate appearances. Between the two stops, the 33-year-old played at every outfield position and every infield position except first base.
Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league…
- Indians infielder/outfielder Michael Martinez elected free agency after refusing an outright assignment, the club announced. The 33-year-old veteran hit .267/.290/.333 in 32 plate appearances with Cleveland this season and will seek a minor league deal elsewhere as a free agent. The longtime Phillie is just a career .187/.235/.256 hitter between Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Cleveland, though he can play several positions and has a decent Triple-A track record, making him a nice depth piece.
- The Cardinals announced that they’ve signed catcher Eric Fryer and right-hander Juan Gonzalez to minor league contracts. Fryer, 30, has spent the past three seasons in the Twins organization and received 124 plate appearances in the Majors, hitting .236/.323/.355. He has similar Triple-A numbers, and while he’s struggled to catch runners in the Majors, he’s done so at a 30 percent clip in the minors. He’ll give the Cards an alternative to the light-hitting Tony Cruz at backup catcher. As for Gonzalez, The 25-year-old posted a 1.62 ERA with 9.2 K/9 vs. 2.9 BB/9 in 50 innings split between the Dodgers’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates in 2015. That marked his first experience at the Triple-A level, though, so it did take him awhile to reach that point, considering he’ll be 26 early next April.
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Moncrief for assignment, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian tweets. That move, along with a 60-day DL transfer for lefty T.J. House, created roster space for the team to add Michael Martinez and lefty Giovanni Soto to the 40-man roster.
Moncrief, 26, has not yet reached the majors. He’s slashed a somewhat disappointing .227/.346/.367 this year while splitting his time between Double-A and Triple-A, with the better half of the results coming at the lower level. Moncrief put up a more robust .271/.328/.431 batting line in 2014, all of which was spent at the highest level of the minors.
Twins closer Glen Perkins told reporters today that he can “barely walk” due to back spasms, per La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (Twitter links). Perkins will not accompany the team to Houston for its weekend series and will instead remain in Minneapolis for treatment. Per the Pioneer Press’ Jace Frederick and MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger (Twitter links), Perkins says he is “baffled” by the recurrence of back pain, as he felt fine after recording a save on Tuesday and believed himself to be 90 to 95 percent healed. Instead, he awoke Wednesday to the realization that he could barely get out of bed. It’s not known how long Perkins will be sidelined, but the injury makes the Twins’ acquisitions of Kevin Jepsen and Neal Cotts look that much more important. That duo, along with Trevor May, who has temporarily converted to a reliever (with strong results), will figure to play a key role as the Twins hope to remain in Wild Card contention.
Here’s more from their division…
- Alexei Ramirez hopes to return to the White Sox in 2016, he tells Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune. “This was the team that gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues and I want to spend the rest of my career here,” said Ramirez via interpreter. Chicago holds a $10MM option with a $1MM buyout on the 33-year-old Ramirez, essentially making it a $9MM decision for the Sox. Ramirez’s .243/.273/.345 batting line would make that seem like an easy call, Ramirez has made things tougher on GM Rick Hahn and his staff by hitting .285/.324/.435 with six homers and seven steals in 53 games dating back to July 1.
- Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com chronicles Abraham Almonte’s long journey to the Indians, including his battle with alcohol abuse along the way. Almonte admits that a shoulder injury suffered in 2010 as a minor leaguer with the Yankees led him to drinking nearly every day and candidly recounts the story of how he overcame his problems. Now with the Indians after being traded three times in three seasons, Almonte says he’s having the most fun of his career, and he’s drawing praise from teammates and coaches alike. Almonte, still just 26 years old, is hitting .274/.326/.536 with three homers and three steals in 92 plate appearances as Cleveland’s primary center fielder. His defense, characteristically, has been outstanding according to metrics such as Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved.
- The Indians will likely promote left-hander Giovanni Soto and infielder Michael Martinez tomorrow, tweets MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. However, neither is on the team’s 40-man roster, meaning they’ll have to make a pair of 40-man moves in order to accommodate the duo. This is my speculation, but moving T.J. House to the 60-day disabled list would clear one spot, but there’s no injury-related move that could free up a second spot (unless the team decides Carlos Carrasco is done for the year), making a DFA seem probable.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- Continuing their trend of adding veteran arms on minor league deals, the Braves have added right-hander Todd Coffey on such a pact and invited him to Spring Training, tweets Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Coffey missed the 2013 season after undergoing his second career Tommy John surgery and spent much of the 2014 campaign with the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate, where he posted an excellent 1.93 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9 in 37 1/3 innings of work. From 2009-12 with the Brewers, Nationals and Dodgers, Coffey notched a 3.76 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 225 innings. The Braves have also added Jose Veras, Matt Capps, Chien-ming Wang, Wandy Rodriguez and Donnie Veal on minor league deals this winter.
- The Blue Jays announced that first baseman/outfielder Chris Colabello has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A (h/t: Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet). The 31-year-old Colabello found himself designated for assignment to make room for waiver claim Jayson Aquino. The longtime indy ball star has been a nice story since signing with the Twins as a 28-year-old and rising through their ranks to the MLB level.
- The Indians have signed former Phillies utility man Michael Martinez to a minor league deal and invited him to Spring Training, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (on Twitter). The 32-year-old switch-hitter brings plenty of defensive versatility to the table, though he’s just a .181/.231/.251 hitter in 440 big league plate appearances.
- The Marlins have inked infielder David Adams to a minor league deal that does not include an invitation to big league camp, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports (Twitter links). Now 27, Adams slashed a meager .193/.252/.286 in 152 trips to the plate with the Yankees in 2013. He has performed much better in the upper minors, slashing .255/.349/.397 in 333 plate appearances at Triple-A and putting up a .290/367/.443 line in 899 Double-A turns at bat.
- Another utility infielder, Chris Dominguez, has agreed to a minor league pact with the Reds, the club tweeted. Dominguez, who was recently designated and released by the Giants, will participate in MLB camp. The 28-year-old saw his first action in the bigs last year, a quick stop with San Francisco, but has spent most of his time over the last two seasons at Triple-A. In 1,203 total PCL plate appearances, Dominguez owns a solid .278/.312/.446 slash with 39 home runs.
- Lefty Cesar Jimenez has cleared waivers and accepted a Triple-A assignment, the Phillies announced. Despite a strong 2014 and deal to avoid arbitration, Jimenez was designated and then outrighted recently.
A total of 43 players have elected to become minor league free agents, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy in his latest round-up of minor league transactions. MLBTR has already reported on some of these moves over the last few days, and here is the rest of the list, with players grouped by their most recent team…
- Angels: RHP David Carpenter, RHP Dane De La Rosa, C John Hester
- Braves: RHP Pedro Beato
- Cubs: C Eli Whiteside
- Diamondbacks: 3B Andy Marte
- Giants: 2B Brandon Hicks
- Indians: MI Elliot Johnson
- Marlins: OF Brian Bogusevic
- Mets: LHP John Lannan, SS Omar Quintanilla, C Taylor Teagarden
- Orioles: RHP Josh Stinson
- Padres: OF Jeff Francoeur, 3B Chris Nelson
- Phillies: SS Reid Brignac, LHP Jeremy Horst, RHP Jeff Manship
- Pirates: SS Michael Martinez, RHP Vin Mazzaro, 1B Chris McGuiness
- Rangers: 1B/OF Mike Carp, LHP Ryan Feierabend, 2B Josh Wilson
- Red Sox: OF Corey Brown, 2B Ryan Roberts
- Royals: INF Pedro Ciriaco, RHP Blake Wood
- Tigers: RHP Kevin Whelan
- Yankees: LHP Josh Outman
Here are Sunday’s minor moves from around MLB:
- The Pirates have outrighted Chris McGuiness and Michael Martinez to Triple-A Indianapolis after the pair cleared waivers, tweets the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Biertempfel. McGuiness and Martinez were both designated for assignment this past week.
- The Mets will add outfielder Bobby Abreu to their 40-man roster tomorrow when his contract is officially purchased from Triple-A Las Vegas, reports Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. The move fills the remaining spot on the team’s 40-man roster. This will be the 40-year-old’s second stint with the Mets this year as he was designated for assignment in August after posting a .238/.331/.336 line in 142 plate appearances. Ten days later, he inked a minor league deal to remain with the organization.
- The Rangers have announced they have purchased the contract of infielder Guilder Rodriguez from Double-A Frisco. To make room on the 40-man roster, the club placed Yu Darvish on the 60-day disabled list. Rodriguez holds the distinction for playing the most minor league games of any current player (1,095) without MLB experience. The 31-year-old, profiled by Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest, has a slash of .260/.340/.290 in 384 plate appearances for Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock this season while playing all four infield positions, as well as both corner outfield spots.
- There are currently five players residing in DFA limbo, per MLBTR’s DFA Tracker: Michael Kohn (Angels), Chris Dwyer and Blake Wood (Royals), and Matt Hague and Darin Mastroianni (Blue Jays).