Three months after the Mariners designated Leonys Martin for assignment, the outfielder will rejoin the club. The Mariners will select Martin’s contract prior to Sunday’s game, reports the Seattle Times’ Ryan Divish, who adds that they could designate right-hander Cody Martin to create a 40-man spot.
As far as the 25-man roster goes, Leonys Martin will take the place of fellow outfielder Mitch Haniger, who’s going to the 10-day disabled list after suffering a scary injury Saturday. Haniger took a 95 mph fastball to the face from Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, video of which is available in Divish’s story, and departed with a mouth contusion. Fortunately, that’s not a catastrophic injury. Nevertheless, it will force Haniger to undergo plastic surgery, general manager Jerry Dipoto said after the game, and shelve him “for a little while,” per the executive.
Haniger’s injury is a disappointing development for a Seattle team that’s 52-53 and out of a wild-card spot by 3.5 games. Haniger, whom the Mariners acquired from the Diamondbacks in the teams’ offseason Jean Segura–Taijuan Walker trade, has batted a respectable .255/.355/.425 in 246 plate appearances this season. However, the 26-year-old’s output has declined significantly since he landed on the DL in late April with an oblique strain that kept him out until early June. Haniger was hitting an incredible .342/.447/.608 prior to his return.
It’s unclear how much playing time the 29-year-old Martin will garner in his second go-around with the Mariners this season, as they still boast three capable outfielders in Jarrod Dyson, Ben Gamel and Guillermo Heredia. Martin was a satisfactory option in his own right as recently as last year, when the then-starting center fielder posted a .247/.306/.378 line with 15 home runs, 24 stolen bases and a 2.2 fWAR across 576 plate appearances, but he got off to a horrid start this season. Before the M’s booted Martin off their roster at the end of April, he batted .111/.172/.130 in 58 PAs. Martin, who’s on a $4.85MM salary, then cleared waivers and eschewed free agency in favor of an outright assignment to Triple-A Tacoma, where he has slashed .312/.352/.506 with 11 HRs and 24 steals in 373 trips to the plate.
Cody Martin, meanwhile, just rejoined the Mariners on Wednesday after spending the first few months of the season in Tacoma. The swingman registered a 3.81 ERA, 11.75 K/9 and 2.54 BB/9 over 28 1/3 innings there and hasn’t gotten into a major league game this season. That wasn’t the case in 2016, though, as the 27-year-old pitched to a 3.86 ERA and logged 5.26 K/9 against 3.16 BB/9, with a 47.5 percent ground-ball rate, across 25 2/3 frames in Seattle. The Mariners then outrighted Martin to Tacoma in January.