J.D. Martinez, who was released by the Astros over the weekend, has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Tigers.
Martinez was a semi-regular for Houston during the past three seasons, logging 975 plate appearances, but he hit just .251 with 24 homers and a .687 OPS as a corner outfielder. He’s still just 26 years old and has a decent minor-league track record, so Martinez is a worthwhile pickup for a Tigers team looking for some organizational depth after losing Andy Dirks to back surgery.
He’d likely fit best as a part-timer, platooning with a left-handed hitter. For now he’ll head to Triple-A and try to resurrect his career.
From the “this does not surprise us in the very least” department, Tigers GM Al Avila announced today that the club is declining its $16 million option on right-hander Anibal Sanchez.
Sanchez had a terrible year in 2017, going 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA in 2017. That’s a long slide down from his 2013 season, in which he won the AL ERA title, going 14-8 and posting an ERA of 2.57 in the first year of his five-year, $80 million deal. Since then he’s gone 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA. He never started 30 games or more over the course of the contract.
The declination of the option does come with a nice parting gift for Sanchez: a $5 million buyout. Which is pretty dang high for a buyout, but that’s how the Tigers rolled three or four years ago.