Martin (illness) was officially cleared for regular offseason strength training and conditioning Tuesday, Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com reports. Martin suffered a major health scare in August and he spent time in the hospital while battling a life-threatening illness. Although he was shut down for the remainder of the 2018 season a few months ago, he was finally cleared to take part in normal offseason activities and will be at 100 percent for the start of spring training. Martin is in line to serve as Cleveland's starting center fielder for the 2019 campaign after inking a one-year deal at the end of October.
Martin (illness) signed a non-guaranteed one-year, $3 million contract for 2019 with Cleveland on Wednesday, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. This deal will avoid arbitration for Martin after the outfielder was sidelined for the last seven weeks of the season due to a serious bacterial infection that caused him to spend some time in the hospital. That ailment occurred just a week after the Indians traded for Martin from Detroit, so he only played in 84 games in 2018. He wound up slashing .255/.323/.425 with 11 home runs, 33 RBI and seven stolen bases, and will have a chance to lock down the starting spot in center field come spring training.
Manager Terry Francona said Wednesday that Martin (illness) will not play again this season. He added that Martin is recovering just fine but the doctors want him to concentrate on returning to full health instead of ramping up baseball activity, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports. Martin was recently released from the hospital after fighting a life-threatening bacterial infection. Clearly his return to full health is more important than baseball, so the organization doesn't want to take any chances with Martin. He should be completely operational for spring training in 2019.
Martin (illness) was released from the hospital Sunday, Zack Meisel of The Athletic Cleveland reports. Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti relayed that there isn't a timeline for Martin to return to baseball activities, but the fact that the outfielder is no longer hospitalized is welcome news after he was said to be dealing with a life-threatening bacterial infection. Because of the toll the infection took on his body, Martin could require several weeks to get back into playing shape, which might make it difficult for him to return to the field in 2018.
Martin is in stable condition while battling a serious bacterial infection but the Indians have not considered a timeline for his return to baseball activities. Martin's condition was at one point considered life-threatening but he has made considerable progress and is expected to make a full recovery. Given the severity of the issue and the slow rate at which he's expected to continue to progress, however, it doesn't appear that the Indians plan on him being able to return this season.