Mariners Sign Dominican OF Helsin Martinez
It’s not quite July 2nd yet, but some of the major international free agent signings are now public. The big signing for the Mariners is OF Helsin Martinez, a power hitting OF who signed for $2m. Both IPL Baseball and ESPN’s Enrique Rojas confirmed the signing on twitter.
From what little I know, the best comp would seem to be Guillermo Pimentel, another power hitter from the DR who signed for $2m back in 2009 (he’s now in the Appy league and has appeared as a top 5 prospect in several lists).
In other prospect news, the M’s have made a flurry of promotions in the minor leagues, with Vinny Catricala and James Paxton moving up to AA Jackson, Anthony Vasquez and Josh Fields moving to Tacoma, C/LF Angel Salome continues his comeback at High Desert, and tons of catchers moving up/around thanks to the M;s losing both of their backstops on one day.
The M’s have one more move to make: they need to call up a starter for Sunday’s game to take the place of Erik Bedard. Eric Wedge has said it’d be someone who wasn’t on the roster (ruling out a David Pauley/Aaron Laffey spot start), this has led many to speculate that the start will go to Tacoma RHP Blake Beavan, acquired in the Cliff Lee deal last year. He’s got two things going for him: he’s been hot recently and Sunday would be his turn in the rotation (he pitched on 6/28). The huge righty was abysmal for Tacoma in a late season call-up last year, and got out of the gate slowly in 2011 as well. But an uptick in his velocity’s made him an effective starter – he went 21 IP with 18 Ks, 5 BBs and 4 runs allowed over 3 starts this month before a terrible start the other day in Las Vegas.
Nothing really jumps out at you with Beavan – he doesn’t have a wipeout breaking ball, he doesn’t have great command, and he’s not going to light up radar guns (he was at 89-90 last year/April 2011 and is now 91-93, touching 94). If he can carry the newfound velocity with him, though, he could hopefully do a decent Doug Fister impersonation for a while. Fister always had better command, however. Beavan’s also had a bit of a HR problem, especially at home. They’d need a 40-man spot for Beavan, but they have several candidates for a DFA – from forgotten man Jeff Gray, OF Mike Wilson or P Yoervis Medina. They’d likely slip through waivers, the way Edward Paredes did this week.
The other spot start candidate in Tacoma is Luke French, who’s currently on the 40-man and who made 13 starts for the M’s last year. French, however, has been consistently awful this year, with 21 HRs given up in his 85 innings, and a FIP over 7. His velocity’s down a bit, and I’m not convinced he’s healthy
Update: It’s Beavan who’ll start tomorrow. M’s will wait on the roster move until tomorrow. Hat tip: Ryan Divish.
Photo of Beavan below: