The Texas Rangers have traded outfielder J.P. Martinez to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Tyler Owens, it was announced today. The move opens up a spot on the 40 man roster for David Robertson, who reports last night indicated had agreed to a deal with the Rangers.
Owens is a 23 year old righthanded pitcher who was a 13th round pick in the 2019 draft, signing for a well-above-slot $547,500 bonus. Owens was ranked as the #24 prospect in the Braves system by Baseball America in their rankings for the 2024 season. He is a small pitcher (listed at 5’10”) who split the 2023 season between high-A Rome, where he put up a 2.27 ERA in 39.2 innings, and AA Mississippi, where he had a 4.21 ERA in 25.2 innings. BA profiles him as a reliever, but indicates he needs a pitch that would be effective against lefties. Currently he’s a fastball/slider guy. He was Rule 5 eligible this year but wasn’t selected.
Martinez was the Rangers’ consolation prize when they didn’t sign Shohei Ohtani six years ago, getting as a signing bonus the bulk of the money that had been earmarked for Ohtani, had he opted to sign with Texas. The 27 year old was added to the Rangers’ 40 man roster last summer when he got a brief look in the majors, but slashed just .225/.250/.325 in 44 plate appearances before being sent back down.