Indians re-sign Martinez to Minor League deal

Utility player appeared in 16 games with Tribe in 2015

Indians re-sign Martinez to Minor League deal

CLEVELAND -- The Indians were impressed with utility man Michael Martinez last season, and they are keeping him on the depth chart for next year.

On Friday, Cleveland re-signed Martinez to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to attend Spring Training with the Major League club. Martinez was outrighted on Wednesday, trimming the Tribe's 40-man roster to 36 players. The Indians are not only freeing up roster space for potential external additions, but they need to plan ahead for the Nov. 20 deadline for protecting exposed prospects from the Rule 5 Draft.

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Martinez spent the bulk of the 2015 season at Triple-A Columbus, but he was a part of the Indians' September callups.

"He impressed everybody this spring with how he went about everything," Indians manager Terry Francona said when Martinez joined the Tribe for the final month. "He goes to Triple-A and by all accounts, [Columbus manager Chris Tremie], everybody, [said] he was probably the best teammate in the organization this year."

In 16 games for Cleveland, the 33-year-old Martinez hit .267 (8-for-30) with 12 strikeouts and one walk, while offering depth at second base, shortstop, third base and all three outfield positions. Martinez hit .289 with 11 steals, 34 extra-base hits, 42 RBIs and 53 runs in 102 games at Triple-A last season.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.