ARLINGTON, TX -- The Texas Rangers have acquired former Cumberland University catcher Luis Martinez from the San Diego Padres for Minor League pitcher Ryan Kelly.
Martinez, who appeared in 22 games for the Padres this past season, has been placed on the 40-man roster.
He gives the Rangers some catching depth behind Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba after they traded Taylor Teagarden to the Orioles in November.
"He's slated to compete for a role on the bench," Texas 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.
Martinez spent most of the season at Triple-A Tucson, hitting .323 with one homer and 28 RBIs in 58 games. The Padres originally drafted him in the 12th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Cumberland University. He has a career .272 batting average in 397 Minor League games with a .364 on-base percentage and a .360 slugging percentage.
Martinez is the first player in the storied history of Cumberland baseball to play in the major leagues.
Kelly went 3-6 with a 3.95 ERA and nine saves in 40 appearances for Class A Myrtle Beach after being acquired from the Athletics for pitcher Guillermo Moscoso. The Rangers now have 37 players on their Major League roster.