Phillies Take Infielder In Rule 5 Draft

The Phillies lost Jayson Werth when he signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Washington Nationals.

They struck back this morning.

“We figured with this Rule 5 Draft we would get back at the Nationals,” Ruben Amaro Jr. joked. “They got Werth. We’ll take (Michael) Martinez and call it even.”

The Phillies selected Martinez from Triple-A Syracuse, which is Washington’s affiliate. He is a 28-year-old infielder that can play multiple positions. Martinez must open the season on the 25-man roster and remain there the entire 2011 season or be offered back to the Nationals.

The Phillies lost no players in the draft.

“One thing we see in Martinez is the versatility,” Phillies director of professional scouting Mike Ondo said. “We like his versatility, his athleticism, his quickness. He’s a guy who has played shortstop and second base. We’ve seen him play center field.”

Martinez, who once played professional basketball in the Dominican Republic, also is a switch-hitter. He hit a combined .272 with 21 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs, 56 RBIs, 23 stolen bases (caught 12 times), a .312 on-base percentage and a .408 slugging percentage in 522 plate appearances with Double-A Harrisburg and Syracuse.

“With the way we set up right now, this is a guy who can come in and maybe compete to fill a need,” Ondo said.

Martinez is not a fast runner, but Ondo said his quickness defensively at all positions is his strength. Losing Werth gives the Phillies a little less depth in center field, so Martinez’s ability to play there is a plus.

The Phillies also selected outfielder Chris Frey from Colorado’s organization and right-hander Justin Friend from Oakland’s organization in the Minor League phase of the draft. Frey, 27, hit .288 with 20 doubles, four triples, one home run and 25 RBIs in 328 plate appearances with Triple-A Colorado Springs. Friend, 24, went 3-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 36 appearances (one start) with Double-A Midland.

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8 Comments

Martinez is 5′-9″, 145 pounds. They would need TWO of him to replace Werth. Maybe Martinez can get some work in Florida as a jockey if his baseball career doesn’t work out.

Here’s our backup centerfielder. Sure, moves are exciting, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about putting a winning team out there. I think the Phils might be about done. Resign Durbin, and let some of the young bullpen arms compete for the last spot there. I say the rightfield vacancy ought to be Brown’s to lose. He’s our best prospect and has had success at every minor league level. Manuel has said quite definitely that he is a special talent. He is the best option out there because he has the most upside. He’s also homegrown, which i think is a positive for the Phillies front office. Don’t burn a couple aging prospects for the aging Rowand or fritter away money on some stopgap like Diaz or Francouer ( I know they’re both taken, but players like them). I know that Brown looked bad as a pinchhitter in 2010 and had a terrible time in winter ball, but this is a small sample that you can just throw out. Wait for him to show he’s straight in spring or in triple AAA and then pair him up with Ben. Let him face lefties more and more as the season progresses and hopefully he’s succesful enough to deserve the everyday job.

Dandal, Diaz signed with the Pirates and Francouer signed with the Royals. Besides Ordonez and Quentin, I’m not sure who else left on the free agent market would be better than a platoon of Francisco and Gload.

Does anyone think that Carl Crawford is worth $142 million over the next 7 years? I am all for a free market and capitalism, but when the rest of the country is suffering from the worst recession/depression since the 1930s, how can teams justify paying so much and how can players demand so much? Jayson isn’t worth what the Nats are going to pay him either. It’s ridiculous for any professional athlete to get that kind of money.

Erich, I guess the same idiots who paid Werth 160+ million over 7 years think that crawford is worth 140+ over the same time. I hate to think what Puhols will get when he signs next—500 million over 7 years?

Werth and Crawford benefited from being the best of a bad lot of free agents. Cliff Lee is a quality pitcher in any situation, but the money and years he’ll get will be equally ridiculous. I think Jayson will suffer in that lineup and could be exposed as an average player who was in a sweet situation here.
When guys like Crawford and Werth get huge deals, it pushes the salaries up across the board. Teams go chasing after average players and offer them big money.

As for the money, yes it’s nuts, recession notwithstanding. Players’ salaries have been out of hand for decades, and ticket prices are slowly getting out of “family outing” range, where it’s becoming more difficult for people to get out to games. Baseball is insensitive to our financial struggles, and the Phillies’ consecutive sell-out streak won’t make them any more sympathetic.
Soon, it will reach a tipping point where baseball will be like hockey, where you have to know somebody who can give you tickets, and you’re lucky to get to a couple of games a year because the tickets are so expensive.

Baseball will never be like hockey because, well, it’s hockey. Who cares, unless it’s the playoffs.
And the SpectrumII-Core-States-First-Union-Wachovia-Wells-Fargo-Center isn’t CBP, and never can be. I preferred hockey at the old Spectrum anyway.

Obviously, you missed my point. Either that, or you don’t pay to go to games and lack perspective.

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