With the winter meetings heating up soon, MLB clubs will be looking to address their most glaring weakness or areas in need of improvement – so it would behoove most general managers to listen to interested parties.
Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels certainly is, and as he told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, a number of clubs are inquiring about outfielder Leonys Martin. Grant quotes Daniels as saying that Martin is one of the Rangers players being ‘hit hardest on’ so far during trade talks, despite his tough 2015 season.
Martin is due for a raise, despite losing his job in the outfield and the lineup for the Rangers in 2015. His fall from favor came after he appeared in 147 and 155 games in 2013 and 2014, respectively, and was considered a potential mainstay on the club for years to come. His hitting fell off in a big way, though: a promising .274/.325/.364 line in 2014 was followed up by a .219/.264/.313 in ’15, earning him a trip back to Triple-A.
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In addition to stating that the Rangers plan to tender Martin a contract, Daniels is quoted by Grant as leaving his options open, so to speak:
He’s a guy who plays a premium position and plays it a high level,” Daniels said. “He will either be with us or we will trade him for value.”
Martin’s defense is presumably one of the reasons teams are interested in his services, and his age (27) should make him an attractive commodity for clubs seeking outfield depth.
Grant points out that the Rangers have options with Martin: they could trade him, keep him, or tender him a contract and THEN deal him away to a club that would then have to sign him to a contract.