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Pirates Sign Michael Martinez

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed 31-year-old utility player Michael Martinez to a minor league deal and have invited him to Spring Training as a non-roster player according to Chris Cotillo. Martinez has played three years in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies and has seen action at all three outfield spots, as well as second base, third base and shortstop.

He provides versatility of defense, but has never hit in the majors. In 364 at-bats over 162 games, he has a .187/.234/.261 slash line and has never batted above .196 in a season. Martinez also has just five homers and four stolen bases, so he looks like a depth option as this point, someone that can fill in anywhere off the bench.


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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

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  • Pie Rat

    I was going with the flow until this one. I even liked having Clint Barmes as a backup ss, but this borders on the ridiculous.

    • John Dreker

      I wouldn’t look too much into it, he is a minor league signing and a non-roster invitation is typical for players with as much major league experience as him. I would say he isn’t more than a possible fill-in at shortstop if Mercer or Barmes go down with an injury long-term. Basically, you might see him as the 25th man if injuries pop up and there is also a good chance that you won’t see him in Pittsburgh.

    • emjayinTN

      No, it already crossed the border into ridiculous – who in the head house is named Martinez, because this has to be somebody’s relative.

  • jon6er

    Another good glove, no bat signing. What am I missing? Did the Pirates lead the league in any offensive category. Were they even in the top 10 of any?

    • WTM

      If the Pirates did in fact sign this guy, it was as AAA depth. That’s why it’s called a “minor league deal.” Every year they’ve got guys like this in AAA and none of them ever sees PNC.

      • thatboringdude92

        Don’t tell that to Felix Pie.

    • Skipperron

      Yeah, could we possibly be going jussst a bit too far on this all defense and no offense thing? LOL

      • John Dreker

        I wouldn’t doubt that he spends the whole season at AAA and for that reason, he looks like a good player to sign. The Indianapolis rotation looks like it’s going to be filled with young prospects, so it’s always good to have a major league vet with strong defense behind pitchers like that.

  • WTM

    The tweet on this guy may not have been accurate. BA shows him as having re-signed with the Phillies on Oct. 17 and MLB.com lists him as “signed” and with the Phillies.

    • John Dreker

      Cotillo was the original person to announce Martinez resigning with the Phillies and retracted it the next day, then said he didn’t know what was going on with him, confusion among the Phillies and Martinez(and his agent). He backed up today’s tweet with an explanation of what happened and confirmed again that he made a mistake earlier

      • WTM

        OK. Cotillo or his source was obviously confused, because not only did he announce the Phillies had re-signed Martinez on Oct. 17, he tweeted again on Oct. 18 that he had confirmed the signing.

        Phillies’ fans, btw, couldn’t stand Martinez.

        • John Dreker

          I actually had this written up about ten minutes before I posted, looking for someone else legit who could confirm the move. That was because of the earlier confusion considering his signing. MLB Network actually had him listed as a “key free agent” just a few days ago, so they apparently thought/knew he was still unsigned

        • MattInMD

          “Phillies’ fans, btw, couldn’t stand Martinez.”

          That’s almost enough reason right there to like him! :)

  • Skipperron

    WOW, I have a thrill up my leg.

  • Pie Rat

    He’s played in a total of 162 games over 3 years. He doesn’t even bring much MLB experience with him. You can barely call him a veteran.

  • buster09

    Seems like there are a handful of people here that don’t understand how many players you need to fill out your AA and AAA rosters so your real prospects have somewhere to play.

    • Pie Rat

      So, good to see you again buster09. I looker over the past few days and you are batting .000 with positive comments.

  • Pie Rat

    Looks like he’s just an invite to spring training. Do the Pirates have to give him a guaranteed salary if he doesn’t make the team out of spring training?

    • John Dreker

      No, he is signed to a minor league deal only.

  • CalipariFan506

    I think it’s official that some fans have hit the panic button haha

    • John Dreker

      It happens every year with signings like this. It always makes me wonder, if those people were the GM, would they go to Spring Training with about 40 guys and be happy? I could just picture a AAA roster with 15 players for opening day, some of them on the disabled list. Sometimes it’s tough to differentiate between a signing like this and a player with a strong shot at making the 25 man roster. Martinez is going to need both a strong Spring and some injuries to make the team as the 25th man. He shouldn’t be looked at as anything more than a depth option and every team in baseball needs players like that

  • Mr. Goodkat

    Hmmm…can he play 1B?

    (I kid, I kid)

    People are reacting as though this guy is getting guarenteed money. He’s a NRI, relax.

    • Pie Rat

      I realize they there are many players in the minors that are just there to fill roster spots. I guess it’s the way that he was presented as a veteran MLB player that could add depth to the MLB team. If he’s just a minor league roster fill in then why is it even worth posting on this site? My point that Martinez being listed here makes it a bigger issue than it is. I’m hoping he doesn’t end up as another Inge.

      • John Dreker

        The confusion might be the phrase “depth option”, which is meant to signify that he is an option to fill in at the majors at some point, provide the team with depth. As for posting it here, we post everything here in the organization, from the bottom to the top and on a slow day like today, this is the only news besides the Winter League recap. If they sign a minor league veteran later today, he will get his own post too.

        We try to provide people with as much Pirates info as possible, but also by noting that he’s a depth option and a minor league signing, we are saying that it’s probably not a big deal.

        • http://www.reverbnation.com/johnrussellskinner johnrussellskinner

          I wouldn’t have it any other way! I love seeing all the moves in the system.

        • Pie Rat

          I like to see the Pirate news. I feel better if he is depth option from AAA and not depth on the bench. Thanks John, I really do like this site.

    • Pie Rat

      I was hoping he could Pitch. That way Cole could come off the bench and pinch hit for him.

      • IC Bob

        Right now Cole is our best Pinch Hitter

  • AlvarezRiverBall

    I live in Philly. Everyone here had one consensus view toward Martinez last season in that he had no business being on a major league roster.

  • SportOMania

    Another PED user signed.

  • freddylang

    I do know one thing: This is the most anyone has ever talked about Martinez. The Pirates better make a move quickly so we don’t have to talk about guys like this so much. Sub .700 ops in the minors…where he will thankfully be buried.

    • John Dreker

      Phillies fans sure talked about him a lot yesterday and they really liked this deal

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