The Detroit Tigers landed a key MLB free agent today, as catcher Victor Martinez signed a four year, 50 millon dollar deal with them. The 31 year old played for the Boston Red Sox last year. He is a type A free agent, in meaning that it would cost the Tigers a first round draft pick for signing him.
Martinez is a switch hitter, who turns 32 next month. In his nine seasons in the big leagues with Cleveland and Boston he has a .300 average in 1004 games. Hitting 131 homers and driving in 636 runs. Most recently his two seasons in Boston he hit an even 300 in 183 games. He came over at the trading deadline from Cleveland in 2009.
The one problem is that his defensive skills behind the plate are diminishing, meaning that the Tigers will have to have Alex Avila catching a lot. That means that Martinez will spend a lot of time playing first base and DH. The problem is that Miguel Cabrera is their first baseman so those two would be most likely splitting time between the two spots.
Victor Martinez has a .994 fielding percentage at first base in 146 games in his career. He has a .991 as a catcher in 827 games. As a catcher last year for Boston he played in 110 games with a .990 fielding percentage, with four passed balls and 37 wild pitches. That is the most wild pitches against in a season in his career.
Martinez was signed out of Venezuela by Cleveland in 1996. He has been an all star four times in his career. After coming up through the Cleveland system in five years in the minors.
Voice of A Season Ticket Holder
(Kane County Cougars)