Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Yankees add OF Martinez from Astros
By Matt Ehalt
NEW YORK -- The Yankees have acquired outfielder Fernando Martinez from the Astros, according to GM Brian Cashman.
The Yankees reportedly gave up Single-A right-hander Charles Basford for Martinez, a former Mets top prospect.
Martinez will head to Triple-A and is being brought in to help replenish the outfield depth in the farm system, Cashman said. The Yankees called up Zoilo Almonte on Tuesday.
Martinez, 24, was ranked as an elite prospect as he came up in the Mets system, but he never lived up to the expectations. In three seasons with the Mets from 2009-11, Martinez hit just .183 with two homers in 47 games. In 2012, Houston claimed him off waivers, and he's been with the Astros the last two years.
The outfielder played 11 games with Houston this year, hitting .182, and batted .219 with Triple-A Oklahoma City. He had three homers and 21 RBIs in 28 games. Martinez has played all three outfield spots and is a career .206 hitter.
ALMONTE DEBUT: Almonte will make his major league debut by starting in the nightcap of Wednesday's doubleheader, manager Joe Girardi said.
Almonte, 24, hit .297 with six homers and 36 RBIs in 68 games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and will provide additional depth in the outfield. The Yankees like what they've seen offensively from Almonte.
"We really believe this kid's going to hit," Girardi said. "At times we really saw it in spring training. He struggled a little bit in spring training and maybe it was the excitement of making it a team, but he has [swung] the bat well down there, especially left-handed for him."
The Yankees called up Almonte, as well as reliever/starter Adam Warren, after placing third baseman Kevin Youkilis and first baseman Mark Teixeira on the disabled list. By using the roster spots on an outfielder and pitcher, the Yankees are lacking bodies for the infield.
Girardi stressed that the team will have to be creative, mentioning that outfielder Thomas Neal has played first base before, and David Adams could be used again.
"With all of the injuries, you kind of have to do it and guys maybe have to step out of their comfort zone," Girardi said. "They have been very willing."
The Yankees also officially announced that they have signed first-round pick Ian Clarkin and second-rounder Gosuke Katoh. Clarkin is a left-handed starter, while Katoh is a second baseman. They were drafted 33rd and 66th, respectively.