J.P. Martinez, the Texas Rangers minor leaguer who has spent the season at AAA Round Rock, is reportedly going to be joining the Rangers for this weekend’s series against San Francisco. Evan Grant says that this “may be a paternity leave-related callup,” as the Rangers have players who have babies about to be born.
If Martinez’s call up is just going to be for a few days due to a player going on paternity leave, it would be somewhat surprising that he would get the nod, since Martinez is not on the 40 man roster, and the Rangers would have to make a move to clear a roster spot for him. If the Rangers opted to waive someone, Yerry Rodriguez would seem to be the most likely candidate, as he has just one option remaining after 2023 and has not distinguished himself thusfar in AAA or the majors.
Brad Miller is currently on the 10 day injured list, and one could make the argument that he should be moved to the 60 day i.l. or simply released to free up a 40 man spot. However, the Rangers seem to place value on having Miller around, and with Josh Jung on the injured list, they may feel he provides needed depth.
Martinez was originally signed before the 2018 season, with the Rangers giving him over $3 million as a signing bonus, money that they had set aside for a potential Shohei Ohtani signing (and which came available once Ohtani signed with the Angels). He largely underwhelmed, and heading into last year, was seen as organizational depth moreso than a prospect. He had a nice year at Frisco, though, and earned a promotion to Round Rock to end 2022.
So far in 2023, Martinez has been terrific, slashing .312/.427/.565 in 67 games for Round Rock. He would be a minor league free agent at season’s end if he were not added to the 40 man roster.