Baseball Reflections

How Fernando Martinez is a Fit in San Diego

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Fernando Martinez photo taken from Google Images

The New York Mets finally gave up on a prospect that never materialized. Yesterday, they waived Fernando Martinez (maybe somebody can tell me why he and Daniel Herrera were classified as waived when every other 40 man roster move says the player has been designated for assignment) who has an arthritic knee condition that is not going to get any better even though he is only 23. I understand how some fans are upset over this move, being any Mets news become the Mets fans’ equivalent to the Super Bowl or politics around the presidential election. The truth is, this is not a major move. As great as it would be to see F-Mart play in the majors this season, it was still unlikely unless he could prove that he could stay healthy. And he hasn’t done that in the past five years.
The last three years in particular have been difficult on Martinez, who has not been able to stay on the field. Other than a cup of coffee with the Mets, (5-22, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI) he played in just 63 games for the Buffalo Bisons last season. Prior to that, he played in 71 minor league games in 2010 and 75 in 2009. Overall in his parts of three major league seasons, he hit .183 (24-131) with 8 2B, 2 HR and 12 RBI.
His potential may have been a reason to keep him. But this guy has a knee condition similar to the one that ended Mo Vaughn‘s career. And outside of DJ Carrasco, I don’t see a better move the Mets could have made to get down to 40 players on their roster. F-Mart’s stock has fallen to a point where he is no more a prospect than Zach Lutz, Josh Satin or Armando Rodriguez. Maybe there’s a chance he clears waivers, and gets one last spring training chance to make the Mets. The Mets have the right to outright him to the minors if he clears waivers. But, he likely won’t clear. He has minor league options for 2012 and there are enough teams that think he is worth a 40 man roster spot, at least for this one season.
While I can see him being claimed by any team, including the Marlins, Phillies, and Yankees, I can see him most likely going to the San Diego Padres. Prior to 2005, the Padres offered him more money than the Mets but he wanted to play for the Mets because of Pedro Martinez. He signed with the Mets for $1.35 million. The General Manager that signed him was none other than Omar Minaya, who is now an Assistant General Manager for the Padres. Minaya will sell it to the Padres as a “What do we have to lose?” proposition.
It may be time to say good-bye to a player who was on the Mets in the first spring training I attended in 2008. Though he remains somewhat a threat with his bat, the chances of him remaining on a major league field long enough for the Mets to miss him is unlikely. But, then again, as a Mets fan, you learn to expect the worst.

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