It’s rarely a good sign when your Trade Deadline acquisition is optioned out barely a week after he arrived.
So it is for erstwhile big righty bat Jose Martinez, who has been optioned to the South Bend alternate location to open up a spot on the active roster for newly-claimed outfielder Billy Hamilton. (Talk about two extremely different skill sets, eh?)
Martinez, you’ll recall, is under control via arbitration beyond this year, but it was already a question on whether he’d be worthy of a tender. After struggling with the Rays this year and then starting his Cubs career 0 for 14 before the option, I’m thinking the tender is looking like an extreme long-shot. Let’s just hope the two PTBNLs the Cubs owe the Rays were extremely conditional.
Hamilton, the ultimate speed-and-defense guy takes Martinez’s spot, and can surely duplicate the 0 for 14 performance at the plate if the Cubs require. That is to say, Hamilton cannot hit. He could only barely hit in his best years with the Reds, but that part of his career seems to be entirely gone. So he’s purely for pinch-running and late-game defense. But he’s still among the best at those two skills, and I’m VERY glad the Cubs have him on the roster for the stretch.
One interesting aside on the roster move? Instead of IL’ing Jason Heyward for the Hamilton spot, the Cubs optioned Martinez. Maybe a decent hopeful sign on Heyward’s heath? He’s out of the lineup tonight, for what it’s worth.