Martinez ac­quired from Rays

Cubs add right-handed bat to bol­ster lineup vs. left­ies

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY RUS­SELL DORSEY, STAFF RE­PORTER rdorsey@sun­ | @Russ_Dorsey1

The Cubs made their first move ahead of the trade dead­line Mon­day, bol­ster­ing their bench by ac­quir­ing des­ig­nated hit­ter/first base­man Jose Martinez from the Rays on Sun­day for a player to be named and cash con­sid­er­a­tions.

Martinez is hit­ting .239 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 24 games. The for­mer Car­di­nal should pro­vide a boost against left-handed pitch­ing.

He hasn’t shown his usual prow­ess against left­ies this sea­son, but he has a ca­reer .319/.392/.554 slash line against south­paws.

“He’s hit his en­tire ca­reer, and we do have a DH spot that makes some sense,” man­ager David Ross said. “He’s a re­ally good hit­ter. He has hit left­ies. I think he’ll be a big help for us. But I like his num­bers against right­ies, as well.”

Martinez likely will get a lot of looks as the Cubs’ des­ig­nated hit­ter. The team hasn’t had much pro­duc­tion from its DHs. Backup catcher Vic­tor Cara­tini has had the most at­bats in that role.

The Cubs’ DHs have a .159/.280/.271 slash line with two home runs.

“He gave us night­mares for years [in St. Louis],” said out­fielder Ian Happ, who home­red twice in the Cubs’ 10-1 vic­tory Sun­day. “He was one of the guys in that lineup that ev­ery time he came up, you felt like he was go­ing to put the ball in play and get a hit. Gonna do dam­age in a big spot. So def­i­nitely ex­cited about the ac­qui­si­tion. He’s gonna help bol­ster us against left-han­ders, too, which is nice.”

The trade un­der­scores the im­por­tance of short- and long-term value in a unique 2020 sea­son. Martinez fills holes for the Cubs in the in­terim, but he also pro­vides some sta­bil­ity be­yond 2020. He isn’t el­i­gi­ble for free agency un­til 2023.

Catcher Josh Phe­g­ley was des­ig­nated for as­sign­ment to make room for Martinez on the 40-man ros­ter.

“It’s awe­some to add peo­ple, man, to add depth,” said out­fielder Ja­son Hey­ward, who also home­red twice. “This is a strange sea­son. It’s tough. It’s tough to stay healthy. Just the na­ture of the beast right now.

‘‘But to add Jose, I think it’s huge as a right-handed bat. It’s huge to add a bat that has been a part of our di­vi­sion and has some ex­pe­ri­ence there.

“I feel like his ap­proach is a tough one. Re­gard­less of the re­sult, I feel like he puts up a good at-bat. He’s com­fort­able go­ing to the mid­dle of the field, to right-cen­ter. [He] has pop there, and it’s just an­other guy that we can move around on our base­ball team.”


Des­ig­nated hit­ter/first base­man Jose Martinez, whom the Cubs picked up in a trade with the Rays, is hit­ting .239 with two homers and 10 RBI in 24 games.

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