The Cleveland Indians have signed outfielder Daniel Robertson to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, Paul Hoynes has reported. As a subsequent move, the Indians have also outrighted outfielder(ish) Michael Martinez.
Robertson, 31, was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2008 but made his debut with the Texas Rangers in 2014. Since his debut season, he has made his around the AL West, spending time with the Los Angeles Angels in 2015 and the Seattle Mariners organization in 2016. In 298 total plate appearances over his three professional seasons, Robertson has slashed .273/.322/.325 with no home runs — although he did hit six home runs with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers this season, which ties a career-high at any level.
To say the Indians hot stove is heating up would still feel like a lie, but at least this move proves someone is ready to start cooking. This signing seems very similar to signing of Robbie Grossman and the trade to acquire Collin Cowell last offseason. Robertson is one of the presumably many low-risk outfielders who will be competing for a starting spot this March.
As for Michael Martinez, as fun as it is to rag on him, and the fact that he was in a World f’ing Series, I will miss him if another team claims him. At the very least, I would love to see him back in Triple-A, where it was previously reported that he was a great influence on young players. I would much rather have him doing that than, say, something crazy like being the last at-bat in Game 7 of the World Series.