Mets put former top prospect Fernando Martinez on waivers

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In need of 40-man roster spots after signing Ronny Cedeno and Scott Hairston the Mets have placed former top prospect Fernando Martinez on waivers, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

In his early days as a prospect Martinez was rumored to be the centerpiece of nearly every potential Mets trade and Baseball America ranked him as a top-30 prospect in 2007, 2008, and 2009, but leg injuries and mediocre hitting in the upper minors have derailed his career.

Martinez is still only 23 years old, but he hit just .260 with eight homers and a .746 OPS in 63 games at Triple-A last season and has an ugly 158/46 K/BB ratio in 179 career games at the level.

He’s no longer capable of playing center field and hasn’t hit nearly enough to project as a corner outfield asset, but there’s a decent chance some team will take a flier on Martinez now that there’s no real cost or risk to acquiring him.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.