Xavier Nady signed a minor-league deal with the Mariners last month, but the veteran first baseman/outfielder has chosen to opt out of the contract and become a free agent again after failing to get a call-up to the majors.
Nady was once a very solid right-handed bat for the Yankees, Padres, and Pirates, but he’s been bouncing around a lot lately and now at age 35 he looks just about finished. He hit just .236 with two homers and a .633 OPS in 22 games at Triple-A for the Mariners, including a 17/4 K/BB ratio that suggests he’s overmatched.
This is the second time he’s chosen free agency this season, as Nady previously declined an assignment to the minors after the Padres dropped him from their roster in May.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.
Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”
Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.
Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.