1:04pm: San Diego announced the move. Martini will join the active roster on Thursday, per an announcement.
12:49pm: In an intriguing development, the Padres have claimed outfielder Nick Martini off waivers from the Athletics, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network (via Twitter). The corresponding roster maneuvering isn’t yet known.
It’s a bit of a surprise to see the San Diego org summoning the bartender for the 29-year-old, left-handed-hitting outfielder. It remains to be seen whether Martini will have a shot at holding his roster spot over the course of the offseason.
To be sure, Martini seemed likely to be claimed by some team — so much so that it might’ve been expected he wouldn’t have made it to the San Diego organization’s spot on the waiver priority list. But the Friars already have an outfield mix that includes Wil Myers, Hunter Renfroe, Manuel Margot, and Josh Naylor. Only Naylor hits from the left side, but the club also still controls the southpaw-swinging Travis Jankowski.
Making any use of Martini this year will surely mean reducing the opportunities available to those other players. If nothing else, Jankowski’s roster footing now seems more tenuous than ever.
Perhaps the Friars think Martini could be a fourth outfielder candidate in 2020. He’s optionable, which certainly helps. There are some shades of Alex Dickerson, who was jettisoned earlier this year by the Pads. But holding open a role for Martini would create a tight squeeze once Franchy Cordero is added back to the mix, even assuming Naylor is sent back to Triple-A. It’s also certainly possible the Padres simply see this as a value proposition and intend to explore offseason trade possibilities involving any number of current assets.
Regardless, it’s clear that Martini stirred real interest in the San Diego front office. He certainly impressed in a 55-game big-league debut showing last year, though the A’s never saw fit for a second round this season. While he received only 13 MLB plate appearances in 2019, Martini did boast a .328/.432/.482 slash line and impeccable 51:49 K/BB ratio over 329 plate appearances at Triple-A.