Anthony DiComo of Mets.com tackled a question on the recently waived Fernando Martinez in his mailbag feature today.
Why waste a roster spot for Scott Hairston and let go of Fernando Martinez? Give F-Mart all those at-bats and actually see what he has to offer the team. He still is very young.
— Lou G., Kenosha, Wis.
Effectively cutting Martinez was an extremely difficult decision for the Mets, who do not like giving up on premier prospects any more than fans do. Had the Mets believed at all that Martinez might still blossom into a productive Major Leaguer, they would have kept him. Certainly, they do not want to see him finally fulfill his potential with the Astros.
That said, the Mets have been scouting Martinez more closely than anyone for nearly a decade. They have watched him struggle through an endless string of injuries and determined that, like a startling number of “can’t miss” prospects, Martinez has missed. At some point, the Mets became unwilling to sacrifice other players for the benefit of lost potential.
Why waive D.J. Carrasco, for example, paying his full salary in exchange for roster space, if they believe Carrasco may have something of value to offer the 2012 Mets? Why waive Armando Rodriguez if he might help the bullpen at some point in the future? Why give Martinez the benefit over any such player?
It was a bold move. From a public perspective, it was a risky move. But the Mets did not consider it particularly risky, because they did their due diligence on the situation. They examined Martinez backward and forward and backward again, and they do not envision him developing into the player he was supposed to become.
The Houston Astros claimed Martinez off waivers with the hope that a fresh start will be good for the one-time elite prospect. If Martinez lands a spot on the Astros’ 40-man roster, they will pay the Mets the standard waiver price of $20,000 for him.
I think losing F-Mart was also symbolic that this was Alderson’s team and not Omar Minaya’s. Ridding the team of Reyes, Beltran and K-Rod was his way of putting his stamp on this team. It’s another reason why I think Wright’s days are numbered. Alderson is going to want his own player to be the face of this franchise.