The New York Yankees have been looking for offensive help and some additional depth. This deal probably won’t help at the major league level, though it gives them a little extra outfield depth in AAA which they could use. The Yankees acquired one-time top prospect Fernando Martinez from the Houston Astros tonight, in exchange for minor-league pitcher Charles Basford.
Martinez was a much ballyhooed prospect of the New York Mets a few years back. Injuries and ineffectiveness found him DFA’d and the Houston Astros picked him up. Martinez, in 32 plate appearances for the Astros this year, hit .182 with one homer and three RBI. With Oklahoma City in the PCL, he hit .213 with three homers and 21 RBI in 117 plate appearances.
Basford was drafted in the 37th round by the Yankees last year. He’s a reliever, who went 2-3 with a 5.18 ERA last season. He had 22 strikeouts in 24 innings last season.
With all the Yankee injuries at the major league and AAA level (hello Brennan Boesch), the Yankees needed to add a little outfield depth and that’s what Martinez will provide. Zoilo Almonte was just added to the major league roster and Thomas Neal has been up with the team for about week as well.
If Martinez hits well enough in AAA (and stays healthy) he could find himself on the 40 man roster at some point if they need him. On the plus side, he’s just 24 years old and maybe an opportunity with a different organization helps him reach the potential the Mets and Astros thought he had.