Rangers acquire catcher Luis Martinez from Padres

Posted Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
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Depth is always a nice thing to have at any position, and the Texas Rangers added catching depth on Wednesday.

They acquired catcher Luis Martinez from the San Diego Padres in exchange for right-handed reliever Ryan Kelly.

The Rangers added Martinez to their 40-man roster.

"He's slated to compete for a role on the bench," general manager Jon Daniels said.

"If not, he has options and can go to [Triple A] Round Rock."

Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba are atop the catching depth chart for the Rangers, although the team carried a third catcher on their World Series roster. That gave manager Ron Washington flexibility to start Napoli and Torrealba in the same lineup.

Martinez, 26, appeared in 22 games with the Padres in 2011, batting .203 with one home run and 10 RBIs. He spent most of the season with Triple A Tucson, hitting .323 with one home run and 28 RBIs in 58 games.

Kelly was 3-6 with a 3.95 ERA and nine saves over 40 appearances with Class A Myrtle Beach last season.

With the trade, Texas now has 37 players on its major league roster.

Accountability partner

The Rangers and slugger Josh Hamilton have found their No. 1 choice to replace Johnny Narron as Hamilton's accountability partner.

They expect to know whether the candidate can do it by Christmas, and said it will not be a current team member.

Narron, who left to become Milwaukee's hitting coach this winter, had been one of the many safeguards in place to ensure Hamilton didn't relapse during the season.

Kata signed

Utility player Matt Kata has re-signed with the organization. He spent last season with Triple A Round Rock, hitting .293 with 13 home runs and 71 RBIs over 106 games.

Kata, who plays primarily second base and left field, has had stints in the big leagues with Arizona (2003-05), Philadelphia (2005), Texas (2007), Pittsburgh (2007) and Houston (2009).

Award winners

National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and former major league slugger Frank Howard will be among those honored at the 2012 Texas Rangers Dr Pepper Awards Show.

Kershaw has been named the 2011 Texas Professional Baseball Player of the Year. Pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Dallas native who starred at Highland Park won the NL pitching triple crown by leading the league in ERA (2.28), strikeouts (248) and tying for most victories (21).

Howard, who hit 362 home runs in 16 big-league seasons (two with the Rangers), is the 2012 Mark Holtz Alumni Award recipient.

Tickets to the Jan. 12 event at the Arlington Convention Center are on sale at texasrangers.com or by calling 972-726-4377. Reserved seats are $75, and general admission is $50.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

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