Pittsburgh Pirates News: Jason Martin Elects Free Agency

Friday afternoon, a player the Pittsburgh Pirates acquired in the Gerrit Cole trade elected free agency after being outrighted off the 40-man roster earlier in the offseason

The past two seasons, outfielder Jason Martin has bounced between Triple-A and the Majors for the Pittsburgh Pirates. On October 30th, the Pirates outrighted Martin off of their 40-man roster.

At this point, Martin’s future in baseball and with the Pittsburgh Pirates was up in the air. Friday afternoon, we got some clarity as to what is next for Martin. This clarity came via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Pirate beat writer Jason Mackey.

By electing free agency, Martin is now free to sign with any team. This will almost assuredly bring Martin’s tenure with the Pittsburgh Pirates to an end.

Martin appeared in 27 games with the Pirates. As most fans know, Martin was acquired from the Houston Astros as part of the Gerrit Cole trade. He accumulated 51 plate appearances with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and hit for a .200/.294/.244 slash line to go with a 51 wRC+.

The other player mentioned by Mackey, Kevin Kramer, was unable to elect free agency due to not having enough MLB service time. Kramer, like Martin, was outrighted off the 40-man roster earlier in the offseason. At one point in time Kramer was a top 10 prospect in the Pirate organization. However, he has struggled against MLB pitching.

Kramer owns a .152/.222/.165 slash line in 90 MLB plate appearances. This includes a woeful 41.1% strikeout rate. Kramer also struggled in his last taste of Triple-A pitching in 2019 when he posted a wRC+ of just 92, which is 8 points below average.

The 2020 season was a lost one for Kramer. The left-handed hitting infielder missed the entire season after undergoing surgery to repair a labram issue. Hopefully, for his own sake, Kramer can get healthy and enter spring training 2021 ready to compete.