It's a pretty stunning fall from grace for Martinez, who was not just a consensus Top 100 prospect in baseball, but ranked in the top 30 by Baseball America for three years running from 2007 to 2009. The bottom line has been that he's been injured every single season of his professional career (here's the nasty history), and hasn't hit that much when he has been on the field. In his first 145 MLB PA, he's hit .183/.250/.290.
However, over three seasons in AAA, his age 20, 21, and 22 years he's hit .265/.326/.465. That's a .200 isolated slugging percentage if you're playing along at home. The International League average was .140. So even while playing as one of the youngest players in the IL, he was producing (when he played) above average power. Sure, it hadn't translated to the big leagues yet, and it might never.
I just find this whole little episode stunning. Giving up Martinez for nothing just seems odd. Surely Martinez was worth something, like a live arm or two, on the trade market. Moreover, there is still slack on the Mets 40-man roster. This feels a little bit like the Omar Minaya days when the Mets often seemed out of line with the way teams valued assets (hello, 4 years and $25 million for Luis Castillo). The Astros, and as the rumor goes, at least five teams were interested in Martinez, and the Mets got nothing.
Who was the top prospect like Martinez where a team just gave up at this point when the player still had an option remaining? I'm drawing a blank. Anyone?