The Texas Rangers have made their one-year, $7.5 million deal with veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski official and, in order to make room for him on the 40-man roster, have designated fellow backstop Luis Martinez for assignment, reports Richard Durrett of ESPN:
#Rangers designate Luis Martinez for assignment to make room for A.J. Pierzynski on 40-man roster.— Richard Durrett (@espn_durrett) December 26, 2012
The 27-year-old Martinez was one of three catchers on the Rangers' roster, and his demotion means that the club will likely go forward with Pierzynski and Geovany Soto as the primary backstops, with recent waiver claim Eli Whiteside filling in as needed.
Martinez was acquired by the Rangers in a minor trade with the Padres last December following a successful late-season cup of coffee with San Diego. He appeared in just 10 big-league games for Texas this past season, notching just two singles in 19 plate appearances. He spent much of the year at the club's Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock, where he hit .270/.350/.386 with just two home runs in 65 games.
Martinez has demonstrated solid on-base skills throughout his professional career, but has never developed the ability to drive the ball out of the park.