Texas Rangers rumors: Julio Pablo Martinez, the 21 year old Cuban center fielder waiting to be declared eligible to sign by MLB, has done a pair of private workouts, and Ben Badler of Baseball America says the Rangers, the Miami Marlins and the New York Yankees are the favorites to sign Martinez.
The Rangers still are sitting on a fair amount of international bonus pool money which they have until June 15, 2018, to spend, and so if Martinez is declared eligible to sign in the next couple of months — as expected — they could spend the most on him now. If the Yankees or Marlins were to sign him, they would likely have to wait until after July 2, when they could tap into their 2018-19 J-2 bonus pool money.
Martinez is a smallish (5’10”, 185 lb.) lefthanded hitter who Badler says is probably ready for high-A ball once he signs, and who he praises for his combination of speed, athleticism and power. The Rangers do love their toolsy, athletic center fielders, so Martinez would fit in with what they look for, and hey, they’re sitting on a bunch of cash they have spend by June 15 (or they lose the ability to spend it), so why not grab Martinez, right?
The timing of Martinez being declared a free agent, and the pursuit of him once he does become a free agent, will be something for us to keep an eye on in the next few months.