Padres trade Luis Martinez to Rangers for Ryan Kelly


Ryan Kelly is headed to the Padres.

The Padres have acquired right-handed pitcher Ryan Kelly from the Texas Rangers in exchange for catcher Luis Martinez. The Padres had designated Martinez for assignment on Sunday to make room on the 40-man roster for the player-prospects coming over in the Mat Latos trade.

Kelly, 24, (6′-2″/180 lbs) is a power bullpen arm with solid control. His fastball sits between 91-96 mph, he has shown promise with a power curvball and he has recently implemented a cutter into his repertoire. Last year, he went 3-6 with a 3.95 ERA in 82 IP, five of which he started, while walking 23 (2.5 BB/9) and striking out 64 (7.0 K/9) for the Rangers high-A affiliate in Myrtle Beach.

The Padres give up a quality back-up catcher in Martinez. However, he was expendable with the emergence of other much higher prospects in a very deep Padres system. The 26-year-old catcher has a respectable minor-league career batting line of .273/.364/.360 over five seasons. Last year in triple-A Tucson for the Padres, he batted .323/.379/.434 in 198 at-bats. Martinez was called up due to injuries last year and has shown flashes of promise handling the pitching staff, and as a situational hitter. He batted .203/.309/.305 in 59 at-bats for the Padres.

Overall, this is a solid depth move that should benefit both teams.

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