The A’s are set to select the contract of infielder Vimael Machin from Triple-A Las Vegas, reports Martin Gallegos of MLB.com (Twitter link). He and right-hander Adrian Martinez are both on their way up from Triple-A Las Vegas. Martinez, already on the 40-man roster, is expected to start today’s game for Oakland. The A’s will need to make a pair of corresponding 26-man roster moves, but they already have an open 40-man spot to accommodate Machin’s selection.
Now 28 years old, Machin was the Athletics’ selection in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft (coming out of the Cubs organization). The versatile infielder stuck on the A’s roster through the shortened 2020 season, hitting just .206/.296/.238 in 71 plate appearances. He saw more limited MLB action in 2021 when he batted .125/.200/.125 in 37 trips to the plate, and the team was able to pass him through outright waivers this past April, thus removing him from the 40-man roster.
Machin has always been a strong hitter in Triple-A, and this year has been no exception. Through 292 plate appearances, he’s turned in a .324/.401/.457 batting line (120 wRC+) with four homers, 16 doubles and three triples — all while walking more often than he’s struck out (11.3% to 10.3%). He’s played all four infield positions in Las Vegas this season — albeit only one game at first base — and has also done so in the Majors.
It’s easy to take a look at Machin’s big league numbers and completely write him off, but he’s only had 108 plate appearances in the Majors and it’s hard not to be intrigued by his .307/.400/.468 output in 741 Triple-A plate appearances. At the very least, Machin has the potential to be a bat-first utilityman.
As for the 25-year-old Martinez, he’s one of two players the A’s received from the Padres in the trade that sent Sean Manaea to San Diego. Martinez made his MLB debut earlier this season and tossed 5 1/3 shutout frames in a no-decision over the Tigers. (Oakland ultimately won the game.)
Martinez has had a rockier go of it in Triple-A this year, though he’s been far better after a rough month of April that saw him yield 15 runs in 14 1/3 innings. Overall, Martinez has a 5.63 ERA in 64 innings, but that’s come in an overwhelmingly hitter-friendly setting. His 26.4% strikeout rate, 8.3% walk rate and 47.4% ground-ball rate are all more encouraging. With two minor league option years remaining beyond the current season, he ought to have ample opportunity to establish himself as a possible regular in the Oakland rotation over the next few seasons — particularly with Daulton Jefferies likely done for the season and Frankie Montas quite likely to be traded at some point in the next five weeks.