PHILADELPHIA -- The Padres returned Rule 5 Draft right-handed reliever Josh Martin to the Indians on Tuesday, more than a week after he was designated for assignment.
Martin, who had spent four seasons in the Indians organization, was selected in the Rule 5 Draft in December. In order to retain Martin, the Padres would have needed to keep him on the big league roster for the entire season.
With Rule 5 Draft picks Jabari Blash and Luis Perdomo already on the roster, the likelihood of the Padres keeping Martin was extremely slim. Doing so would have given the club very little roster flexibility.
"I think everybody here liked Josh," manager Andy Green said. "I think as much as we liked him, it came down to roster flexibility in regard to him and how difficult it is to make it through a whole 162-game season when you've got three Rule 5 guys there and you've got other guys who aren't option-able -- and how it hamstrings you throughout the year. I think we tried to work something out for Josh, and Cleveland was pretty dead set on getting him back."
Martin was named to San Diego's 25-man roster out of camp, but he was immediately designated for assignment -- a move that gave the Padres 10 extra days to attempt to retain him, either via trade or by restoring him to the big league club.
San Diego couldn't work out a deal and decided there wasn't room for Martin on the roster, so he was returned to Cleveland for $25,000 -- half the price the Padres paid to obtain him in the Rule 5 Draft.
Martin has never pitched above Double-A, where he posted a 2.27 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP for Akron last season. Martin allowed 13 earned runs on 16 hits in 11 Cactus League innings for San Diego.
AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.