Michael Martinez, who made the last out of the 2016 World Series, was used mostly as a utility man in 2016. He started the season with the Indians before being traded in July to the Red Sox. The Red Sox designated Martinez for assignment a month later, which led to him being picked back up by the Indians on waivers for the remainder of the season. In 104 major league plate appearances in 2016, Martinez slashed .238/.267/.307 with one home run and a measly .252 wOBA. In addition to his struggles driving the baseball, Martinez also posted a very disappointing 3.8 percent walk rate. At 34 years old, there is nothing to suggest Martinez will ever become anything more than a utility infielder and outfielder, who provides most of his value as a defensive replacement. In fact, Martinez will need to make a strong impression in spring training in order to make the Indians' 2017 25-man roster.
Martinez will enter camp as a top contender to backup Jose Ramirez at third base, Fox Sports reports. The Indians do not have a clear-cut backup option at third, and they'll need one so that manager Terry Francona can utility Ramirez's versatility on the infield. There will be stiff competition for Martinez though, as Erik Gonzalez, Giovanny Urshela and Yandy Diaz are all viable options. Martinez hit .238/.267/.307 in 101 at-bats (63 games) for the Indians and Red Sox last season. And although his offensive numbers aren't impressive, the 34-year-old's ability to play the outfield and other infield positions makes Martinez an attractive bench option.
Martinez signed a minor league deal with a spring training invite with the Indians on Thursday, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Martinez's chances to make the major league roster will rely on a 40-man spot opening up for him and the Indians needing depth somewhere on defense. He's 34 years old and has a career-high OPS of .624, so the ceiling here is extraordinarily low.
Martinez signed a minor league contract with the Indians on Thursday that includes an invitation to spring training, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Martinez hasn't had much success at the plate during his time in the big leagues, but his positional utility was valuable enough to the Indians to bring him back after casting him off the 40-man roster in late November. However, this versatility really doesn't help the 34-year-old's fantasy outlook, making him largely irrelevant unless his bat comes to life next season.
Martinez was outrighted off the Indians' 40-man roster on Wednesday. Also not good for Martinez is that the Indians have an interest in bringing in a utility man on a minor league deal with a spring training invite, per MLB.com's Jordan Bastian, so Martinez could face an uphill battle if he wants to to return the big leagues with Cleveland. The 34-year-old put up a .238/.267/.307 line in 106 plate appearances last season while fielding six different positions.
Martinez was claimed off waivers by Cleveland on Thursday. Martinez will go back to Cleveland after starting the season as a member of the club before getting traded to Boston in early July. He was recently DFA'd by the Red Sox on August 2 to make room for Andrew Benintendi on the roster. Martinez will be added to the 25-man roster Friday prior to the Indians' game against the Yankees.