Padres Rumors: Leonys Martin an Option for Padres?

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Credit: AP Photo/Brandon Wade
Credit: AP Photo/Brandon Wade

The San Diego Padres are really looking to improve their team’s defense and at the same time provide some balance in the lineup. The Texas Rangers make a terrific trade partner for the Padres a potential deal could emerge this offseason.

Leonys Martin is a defensive wizard in center field and is also a left-handed bat. The Rangers have Delino DeShields who ha emerged as the teams center fielder of the future. Martin is most certainly expendable, but would the Padres be interested?

They most certainly should be as Martin can answer both of their needs. Balance in the lineup and a defensive upgrade on the field. Packaged with Jurickson Profar, the two of them could be a huge addition for the San Diego Padres.

I know, I know. Hold on. The Rangers aren’t just giving away talent. The Padres do have two important pieces the Rangers desperately need. Craig Kimbrel could solidify the Rangers bullpen very easily. It is rumored the Padres are currently exploring the option of dealing him. Joaquin Benoit had his 2016 option picked up, speculating that the Padres are prepared to move Kimbrel.

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers second need is a starting pitcher. Andrew Cashner fits the mold perfectly. He is in the last year of his contract and doesn’t seem like he will re-sign with the Padres. The native Texan would be a nice fit for the Rangers and could have a great year in Arlington.

It remains to be seen what the Rangers would take for Martin. The 27-year-old Martin hit .219 last year with five home runs and 25 RBI’s and stole 14 bases in 288 at bats and 95 games. Despite those horrible offensive numbers he put up a 1.1 WAR number on the season.

Martin is arbitration eligible until the 2019 season. He made $4.75 million last season, so he is a reasonably cheap option in the outfield. The Cuban native played in 147 games and 155 games for the Rangers in 2013 and 2014. He does not have much power, but is capable of being a decent hitter for average. Martin fails to walk enough to garner being a leadoff hitter, and that is the main reason why the Rangers have lost patience in him.

If he could improve upon his career on base percentage of .305, he has enough speed to be a decent leadoff option. There are some risk factors with Martin offensively, but he brings his glove to the field everyday. In the spacious confines of Petco Park, the Padres need a center fielder who can go and get it. Martin certainly fits that mold.

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