The Indians have agreed with outfielder Leonys Martin on an arbitration deal for the 2019 season, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links). He’ll earn $3MM under the contract, though as with most arb deals it is not fully guaranteed at this time.
Martin, 30, was acquired in the middle of the 2018 season to be a key contributor down the stretch. After six productive games in Cleveland, though, he was sidelined by a terrifying bacterial infection that cost him the remainder of the season — and nearly much more. While there are surely still some roadblocks left to hurdle, it’s immensely promising to hear that the Cleveland organization has cause to believe Martin will be able to play in the coming season.
Once a regular with the Rangers and Mariners, Martin had a disappointing 2017 campaign. Still, he secured a $1.75MM contract with the Tigers, who placed a bet that Martin’s bat could catch back up somewhat to his productive glove and legs.
That’s just what happened, as Martin turned in a .255/.323/.425 slash with 11 long balls in 353 plate appearances before he hit the shelf. Based on those numbers, MLBTR and contributor Matt Swartz had projected Martin to command a $2.8MM salary in his final trip through the arb process. Notably, Martin’s case included some unusual factors, including his initial guarantee as an international free agent and the fact that he had previously played for a higher arbitration salary before signing for less as a free agent.