Since Jerry Dipoto was hired as the Mariners General Manager, he’s been talking about having a more athletic team, especially in the vast Safeco Field outfield. Today’s trade with the Texas Rangers that brought Cuban centerfielder Leonys Martin did just that, it brought an athlete that can cover a tremendous amount of ground in the outfield.
“The addition of Martin gives us a premier defensive center fielder,” said Dipoto. “His athleticism and speed will be strong additions to our lineup as we continue to mold the roster.”
To give you an idea of Martin’s defensive prowess, over the last three seasons (2013-15), Martin ranks 4th in the Majors amongst center fielders in defensive runs saved (44) behind the Mets Juan Lagares (56), Royals Lorenzo Cain (49) and Astros Carlos Gomez (46).
To give you some background on Leonys, he defected from Cuba in the late summer of 2010 and established residency in Mexico before signing with the Texas organization. When he was still a free agent, he took part in the same workouts as Mariners lefty Roenis Elias as they were looking to latch on with a Major League organization. During his career in Cuba, he played five seasons with Villa Clara in the Serie Nacional Cuban League, where he hit .314 (417×1329) with 329 runs, 62 doubles, 1 triple and 38 home runs.