This is for former big-bang batsman Jose Martinez, who has been given the option of a South Bend alternate to open a spot on the active roster for new contender Bailey Hamilton. (Let’s talk about two vastly different skill sets, eh?)
Martinez, you will recall, is in control through mediation beyond this year, but it was already a question of whether he would be eligible for a tender. After struggling with the Rays this year and then starting their Cubs career for 14 before the option, I think the tender is looking like an extreme long shot. Let’s just hope the two PTBNL Cubs had Rays Extremely Conditional.
Hamilton replaces Martinez, the ultimate speed-and-defense man, and could certainly mimic 0 for 14 appearances at the plate if the Cubs needed to. That is to say, Hamilton cannot hit. He was barely able to hit his best years with the Reds, but that part of his career was completely gone. So he is purely to defend against pinch-run and late-inning games. But he’s still the best of those two skills, and I’m very happy that the Cubs put him on the roster for the stretch.
An interesting point on the roster move? The Cubs replaced Martinez, replacing IL’ing Jason Heyward for the Hamilton spot. Maybe there is a decent expectation sign on Hayward’s heath? He’s out of the lineup tonight, for what it’s worth.