Indians Retain J.D. Martin
December 14, 2007
This is good news, as it would have been a shame to lose Martin on waivers in order to pickup a utility player in a trade. Martin has battled injuries throughout his minor league career, but when he is healthy he is an excellent pitching prospect. The Indians farm system is sort of thin in the upper levels as far as starting right-handed pitching goes, so retaining Martin helps in that regard.
Some may ask, if Martin was such a good prospect, why did nobody claim him? Well, there are many reasons this happened. For starters, most every team's 40-man rosters are full, and in order for them to claim him they would have to DFA someone on their 40-man roster to make room for Martin. Also, some of the teams with space on the 40-man likely would rather leave the spot open for a free agent they may sign.
Also, Martin's recent injuries could of scared some teams away. He is reportedly healthy, and pitched well during his time in the Nicaraguan Winter League, but there is no doubt his injury concerns kept teams at a distance. Also, he is not major league ready, and teams claiming guys for the 40-man typically nab players who can help the team now. Martin could help by midseason, but not at the outset.
In the end, this move works out for the Indians. They retain Martin, he is off the 40-man roster which creates room for other players who can help them win now, and most importantly he is not burning up an option this year.