According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, the Marlins have signed infielder Wilson Valdez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Valdez was released by the Giants yesterday after he batted just .194 (7-for-36) in 18 games during Cactus League play. However, he’ll now have a chance to beat out Matt Downs, Nick Green and Chris Valaika for a utility infielder job in Miami.
Valdez, who turns 35 in May, batted just .206/.236/.227 in 208 plate appearances with the Reds last season.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are close to signing Matt Downs to a minor league contract. He’s expected to get an invitation to spring training.
Downs, who turns 29 in March, batted .202/.253/.371 with eight home runs, 16 RBI and a .623 OPS in 191 plate appearances with the Astros last season. Originally drafted by the Giants back in 2006, he owns a .230/.296/.406 batting line in the majors.
Downs offers some pop from the right side and versatility between the infield and the outfield, so he could make the Marlins in a super-utility role.
Fernando Martinez just can’t catch a break.
The injury-prone former top prospect has received semi-regular playing time in right field since joining the Astros last weekend, but Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that he’s now headed to the 7-day disabled list with post-concussion syndrome.
It’s not clear when Martinez hurt himself, but he’ll need to pass a concussion test before resuming baseball activities. Matt Downs has been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to take his place on the active roster.
While it’s an unfortunate turn of events for Martinez, he hasn’t exactly been tearing things up since his promotion. The 23-year-old outfielder is just 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts.
UPDATE: Levine writes that the origin of Martinez’s concussion was likely a hit-by-pitch when he was still in Triple-A. Astros manager Brad Mills believes his condition may have been aggravated when he dove for a ball.