Indians Outright Martinez, Sign Robertson to Minor League Deal
Bob Toth | On 24, Nov 2016
The Cleveland Indians made a pair of minor moves on Wednesday as the club outrighted utility man Michael Martinez off of the 40-man roster to Triple-A Columbus and inked outfielder Dan Robertson to a minor league contract.
Martinez’s time in the Cleveland organization has not necessarily ended, as the team has expressed hopes in retaining his services after his outright. Martinez, however, could decline the assignment and test the free agent market. Robertson’s deal comes complete with an invitation to spring training with the Indians in Goodyear.
The removal of Martinez from the roster leaves the Indians’ 40-man roster at 39 players in advance of the Winter Meetings and Rule 5 draft in early December.
The 34-year-old Martinez spent his second season with the Indians in 2016 after time with the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies, and Pittsburgh Pirates. The versatile utility man played all three outfield spots and third base for the Indians in 16 games in 2015 while hitting .267 and returned to the organization for another season in the sun.
After starting the year in the minors, Martinez made his way to the big league club by the middle of May and had hit .283 in 32 games of work, many of which saw him enter the game as a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner. After the Indians’ 19-inning marathon against the Blue Jays in Toronto on July 1, he was designated for assignment and later dealt to the Boston Red Sox.
He appeared in just four games for the Red Sox, getting one hit in seven plate appearances before Boston designated him in early August. The Indians were waiting, reclaiming the veteran off of waivers.
Martinez hit .171 with a .194 on-base percentage in his second stint in Cleveland in 2016, going 6-for-35 with a double and one RBI in 27 games. For the season between his two stops with the Indians and his one with the Red Sox, he hit .238 with a .267 OBP in 63 games while appearing at six different defensive positions.
Robertson spent nearly all of the 2016 season at Tacoma, the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
The 31-year-old right-handed hitting outfielder entered the pro game in 2008 when he was selected in the 33rd round of the amateur draft by the San Diego Padres. After toiling in their minor league system for parts of seven seasons, he was purchased by the Texas Rangers.
He made his Major League debut during that 2014 season, appearing in a career-high 70 games while hitting .271 with nine doubles, a triple, and 21 RBI while working regularly at all three outfield spots.
Robertson was traded in the offseason to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and he spent 37 games with the club at the MLB level, hitting .280 with two doubles and seven RBI while again working all three spots in the outfield. He was claimed off of waivers after that season by the Mariners and appeared in nine games for the club during the 2016 season, hitting .263 with a double and a run batted in.
In 114 games at Tacoma, he hit .287 with a .357 OBP with 19 doubles, seven triples, a professional career high-tying six homers, and 46 RBI.
Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images