Fernando Martinez was once an elite prospect in the Mets’ farm system, but they let him go for nothing last year and now the Astros have soured on him as well, trading the 24-year-old outfielder to the Yankees for rookie-ball pitcher Charles Basford.
I’m sure Mets fans are dreading the possibility of Martinez suddenly figuring things out with the Yankees, but he’s hit just .206 with a .630 OPS and 72/14 K/BB ratio in 99 games as a major leaguer and has a mediocre .805 career OPS in 297 games at Triple-A.
Injuries and poor plate discipline have doomed Martinez, who cracked Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects list in four consecutive seasons and made the top 30 in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.