Yankees acquire Fernando Martinez from Houston
Martinez, 24, may best be remembered as a top prospect of the Mets, and he was ranked the No. 22 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America prior to the 2007 season. He made his MLB debut in Queens in 2009, but a series of injuries has limited his career since then. Martinez hit just .183 in 47 games with the Mets from 2009-2011 and was claimed off waivers by Houston in January 2012 after being designated for assignment.
After splitting 2012 between Houston and Triple-A Oklahoma City, Martinez began 2013 on the DL with a strained oblique. He was activated on April 20 and hit .182 in 11 games for the Astros before being designated for assignment on May 5. After being outrighted to OKC, he posted a .219-3-21 line in 28 games for the RedHawks.
The Yankees could add Martinez to the vacant 40-man roster spot opened when Chris Bootcheck was designated for assignment Tuesday and bring him to the Majors, but it is likely that he will instead report to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
If that is the case, it will be a very welcome addition for the RailRiders, who were, as of Tuesday, down to one healthy outfielder in Cody Grice; with Thomas Neal and Zoilo Almonte promoted to the Majors over the last week and three others on the DL, the RailRiders played Tuesday's game with Grice in center field, utility player Addison Maruszak in right, and Walter Ibarra - a middle infielder who has just 15 games career experience in the outfield - in left.
Basford, a righty who turns 23 in July, was the Yankees' 37th round pick in 2012, and the Samford product was 2-3 with a 5.18 ERA in 18 games at Short-Season Class-A Staten Island last summer. He was assigned to Staten Island once again this season and pitched in Monday's season opener, allowing one run on four hits over two innings.
It appears as if he will stay in the New York-Penn League for now, as Brian Smith of the Chronicle tweeted that Basford will head upstate to Troy, N.Y., and report to the Astros' NYPL affiliate, the Tri-City ValleyCats.