Cubs roster moves: Hamilton arrives, Martinez optional

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It is rarely a good sign when your Trade Deadline acquisition is deactivated just a week after it arrives.So that’s for former right-hander Jose Martinez, who was picked for the South Bend alternate venue to open a spot on the active roster for newly claimed outfielder Billy Hamilton. (Talk about two extremely different skill sets, huh?)

Martinez, you will recall, is under control via arbitration beyond this year, but there were already questions as to whether he would merit a tender. Having wrestled with the Rays this year and then starting his Cubs career 0 for 14 before the option, I think the offer looks like an extreme shot. Let’s just hope that the two PTBNLs that the Cubs owe the Rays were extremely conditional.

Hamilton, the ultimate speed and defense guy, takes Martinez’s place and can surely duplicate the 0-for-14 performance at plate if the Cubs ask for it. In other words, Hamilton can’t hit. He could barely strike in his prime with the Reds, but that part of his career seems to have completely gone. So, it’s purely for running and late-game defense. But he’s still top of the line at those two skills, and I’m VERY glad the Cubs have him on the stretch list.

An interesting side about the list move? Instead of choosing Jason Heyward for Hamilton’s place, the Cubs opted for Martinez. Maybe a decent sign of hope for Heyward’s health? He’s out of roster tonight, for what it’s worth.

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