Rule 5 Pick Martin Returned by San Diego to Cleveland

Right-handed reliever Josh Martin, a Rule 5 selection by the San Diego Padres in December, has been returned to the Cleveland Indians for $25,000 cash on Tuesday.

The Padres took Martin, who had never pitched higher than the Double-A level in the Indians farm system, with the seventh pick overall in the 2015 Rule 5 draft and paid the Indians $50,000 for his rights. San Diego needed to keep him on their 25-man roster for the season, but instead they designated him for assignment on April 3 and he passed through waivers unclaimed. If there was an attempt by the Padres to work out a deal with the Indians to keep him with the Friars, it did not work out.

Martin was one of four Rule 5 players in camp for the Padres. Reliever Blake Smith was returned to the Chicago White Sox towards the end of spring training. Outfielder Jabari Blash and right-hander Luis Perdomo remain with the club.

Martin, 26, appeared in 12 games for the Padres during Cactus League play, posting a 10.64 ERA in eleven innings of work.

He is expected to join the bullpen for the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate at Columbus this season. He was drafted by the Indians in the tenth round of the 2012 June Amateur draft out of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. The 6’5”, 230 lb. righty was selected the season before in the 25th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

He had four years of minor league service under his belt when the Padres selected him. He spent the second half of the 2012 season with Mahoning Valley and Carolina, going 4-2 in 17 games. He split 2013 with Lake County and Carolina, posting a 3-5 record with a 4.05 ERA. He was 5-6 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in 2014 for Carolina (with one two-inning outing at Akron) in 2014.

Last season, he went 8-1 with two saves in 44 relief efforts for the RubberDucks, posting a 2.27 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP, and averaging a single-season high of 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings with his career-best 80 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings.

Photo: K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune

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