Martinez is a Mystery
Remember Victor Martinez last season?
He was that guy who posted a .330 average, the fourth best in the American League; had his fourth 100 RBI (103) season. He was the Robin to Miguel Cabrera’s Batman. He was a part of the lineup that steam-rolled over the Yankees in the ALDS, winning the series 3-2. Yeah, it’s a distant memory now, I know.
January was an interesting month for the Detroit Tigers. Spring training was right around the corner when Martinez suffered a torn ACL in his left knee.
The hole left by the free agent gem was eventually filled a couple months later by no other than Mr. Prince Fielder. Martinez would immediately fade into the background.
It was thought at first he was to miss the entire 2012 season after he was scheduled to undergo anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery in early April. But doctors performing the surgery on his knee found that his torn ligament had stabilized enough after seven weeks of rehabilitation that only a minor surgery would be required.
There was hope that Martinez might make it back in late September, just in time for the playoffs. But even if he is cleared for activity, it will still be a lengthy rehab. The Tigers’ minor league affiliates will have finished their seasons before Martinez has received any clearance to begin assignment. How will he get the at-bats needed?
With two months left in the season, no one has time to think about what 2013 brings. But if Tuesday’s trade deadline gave any indication, Martinez shouldn’t stay comfortable in Detroit.
Rumors swirled about the possibility of Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano coming to the motor city. Two hours after the deadline had passed, GM Dave Dombroski shot down all rumors that this was even a thought during the whole trading period. What he did make clear was that the club wasn’t waiting for Martinez any longer. He went as far as making it certain that they can win with their current lineup.
Martinez will be 34 in November, so I can only imagine the Tigers will look to move him in the offseason. He’ll have one year left on his four year, $50 Million contract. It’s a chunk of change for any club to take on, especially with the uncertainty of him at full health. At this point, the most the Tigers can do is wait to see how they fare this season. Martinez will remain a mystery for now.
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