The Astros have been awarded a waiver claim on former New York Mets outfielder Fernando Martinez. The Mets placed the 23 year-old on waivers earlier this week to clear roster room for Scott Hairston. Since the Astros had the worst record in the majors last season they owned the number one position on the waiver wire priority list. That turned out to be the difference in being awarded the claim on Martinez. It has been reported that several teams put in a claim on the one time super-prospect.
Knee injuries have taken their toll on Martinez for the past three years, limiting him to an average of 77 games per season. The Mets had finally seen enough and made him available for the $20,000 claiming fee. The Astros are risking very little in hopes that Martinez will reward them by displaying the tools that made him one of the top prospects in the Mets organization as a teenager.
Martinez was added to the Astros 40-man roster but he still has one minor league option remaining. So if he doesn’t make the team out of Spring Training Martinez can be sent to the minors. To make room on the Astros roster pitcher Henry Villar was designated for assignment.
Martinez is considered a five tool player but the knee problems have slowed him down. Jeff Luhnow says the one-time centerfielder now projects as a corner outfielder. Martinez has been unable to live up to his potential as a big-leaguer but was named the MVP of the 2010 Caribbean Series.