For Joe Martarano It's Back to Baseball

Cubs 2014 22nd round draft pick 1B will be attending Extended Spring Training in Mesa and will be pursuing a pro baseball career full-time after spending the past four years attending college and playing linebacker at Boise State. He played baseball part-time in the Cubs organization in 2014-15, but decided to concentrate on school and football last season. 

The 6'4 240+ Martarano was a two-way star football player (QB-LB) at Fruitland HS (Idaho), earning Gatorade Idaho Player of the Year and Idaho 3-A State Player of the Year honors in 2012 while also being named an Honorable Mention Parade All-American and signing an NLI with Boise State. And (BTW) he was also a third-baseman on the Fruitland baseball team, and was rated one of the top 150 players in the nation by Baseball America going into the 2013 draft. 

So Martarano was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 13th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft, but (as expected) did not sign, turning down a $100K bonus offer from the Phils while opting instead to attend Boise State and play football. (Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen refused to allow Martarano to play football at BSU if he signed with the Phillies).   

Because Boise State does not have a baseball team, Martarano was once again eligible for selection (as the rare draft-eligible freshman) in the 2014 draft (normally a player attending a four-year college is not eligible for selection in the MLB First-Year Player Draft until after his junior year or when he turns 21, whichever comes first), and the Cubs selected him in the 22nd round and signed him a month later, even though Martarano hadn't played baseball in more than a year and appeared to be fully-committed to playing college football.

The deal was possible only because the Cubs and new Boise State head football coach Bryan Harsin (Chris Petersen's successor) agreed to let Martarano play football at Boise State (with football being his #1 priority), with the opportunity to play pro baseball in the summer if he was so inclined, and defer his decision about which sport to pursue professionally until he completed his college career.  

Because he was a two-sport player, Martarano's signing bonus (by rule) could be spread over several seasons (either three, four, or five), and in Martarano's case, it was spread over four years (2014-2017). However, he remains under club control at least through the 2020 season (or longer if he is added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster at some point), giving him at least four seasons to metriculate in the art & science of baseball and (hopefully) advance upward through the Cubs system.      

The 22-year old Martarano suffered a season-ending injury (broken leg) in a game versus UNLV last November, and while that is a concern, he is supposedly 100% ready to rock & roll and is enthusiastically fully-committed to playing baseball going forward. 

From what I remember of him when he was at Extended Spring Training a couple of years ago, Martarano has plus raw-power (at least in BP) and Cubs coaches said his make-up is "off the charts." (Sound familiar?).

Now he just has to work on becoming the best baseball player he can be. 


Martarano would be good to have on our side if a fight breaks out!

Phil, how come the Smokies have so many pitchers? Looks like some people need to be moved yet.

AZ PHIL: How will the Cubs continue without Dallas Beeler around? At least they have Casey Kelly, right? I guess we both had a hunch about Beeler - although you saw him a hell of a lot more than I.

Interesting look at team giveaways the year after being in the World Series: Cubs are top tier on both quantity and quality looks like.

"Live" BP at Minor League Camp this morning (Thursday): LHP Bryan Hudson - four innings (60 pitches) LHP Jose Paulino - three innings (45 pitches) LHP John Williamson - one inning (15 pitches)

tebow hit a HR in his 1st minor league AB...lefty off a lefty, too. btw, the fans are into this whole tebow sideshow...lot of noise for him.

I haven't posted in a little while, and I know this is off-topic for the post/thread, but just wanted to say that I truly appreciate this site and the awesome fans who comment on it. The Cub Reporter is the only site I've found that combines astute reporting on aspects of the Cubs organization that you can't find elsewhere (minor league performance and major league medical analysis), in conjunction with sober (maybe?) but intelligent commenters. I can't think of a single other place on the internet you'd actually want to read the comments, so--many props to all here. Thank you all again for making this site what it is. /resume lineup-bashing

It's my first stop when I log in to the interwebs. Don't be a stranger, Shef!

Thanks, Shef. I always say that we have the best commenters on the web, and I'm glad there's at least one other person who agrees. 

Also, everyone should be on the lookout for a bit of a site retooling, and don't be shocked if a little down time comes with it. We're replacing the old duct tape with some championship-grade duct tape.

Agree 100% with Shef. I seldom ever comment but I have read this site nearly everyday since I discovered back around 2005. Thanks to all for informative and entertaining read.

If there's a better site, I've never found it. Big fan since 2006.

AZ PHIL: Where is Chris Dominguez? I heard he was hurt but I'm not seeing him either as on Iowa's DL or in Extended ST? Haven't seen him released either.

Sober is a relative term, anyway.

It's the first time I've been called sober in years!

Ex-Brewers & ex-Reds LHRP Manny Parra (April 2016 TJS) and RHRP Andury Acevedo threw "live" BP at Minor League Camp this morning. Both pitchers threw one inning (20 pitches). Acevedo pitched in Minor League Camp Cactus League games last month, but this was the first time the 34-year old Parra has pitched to hitters since his TJS a year ago.

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  • crunch 4 hours 57 min ago (view)

    side note...k.wong is on 1st putting on one of those "baserunning mitts" (hand protection for sliding) that's extending past the length of his hand/fingers by at least 2-3 inches.

    they're going to have to start regulating this piece of equipment if this keeps up...


  • crunch 7 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Q with LAA in his debut for them...HBP, a wild pitch, and BB through 7 pitches...then 3 pop-outs to follow.

    blah blah spring training...

    baseball on TV...neat.


  • First.Pitch.120 10 hours 18 min ago (view)

    We just traded for Maddux!!!   ......... nope, the other one.


  • crunch 22 hours 48 min ago (view)

    yeah, i'm just saying i did consider piling onto it with a troll-level post about the's practically asking to be written that way.

    jeff passan did it quite well...

    that said, i had no idea zach bryant existed before today, but his early numbers looked oddly good (which means nothing without context that early in his career).


  • Charlie 23 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Oh, I mean the trade. You were quite diligent in posting!


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    i contemplated writing the post totally trolled out as hell with "zach" coming after a wall of text.

    i decided the cubs being cheap was enough pre-season punishment without piling on.


  • Charlie 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    This is a straight up troll 


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    rsox aquiring ZACH bryant from the cubs.

    ptbn from the josh osich deal.

    totally useless trade...hopefully not a terrible loss.


  • Hagsag 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber invited to the ML camp.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 11 hours ago (view)

    Ryan Tepera returns. Major League deal


  • crunch 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    spring training TV is usually fluid...adding and subtracting broadcast games...

    first cubs TV (as of now) is March 3 (wednesday) on ESPN at 3pm EST.

    radio broadcasts available for almost every game that's not televised.  the cubs get going on monday and some other teams will start the day before.


  • crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    dj snelton's left elbow is screwed up...6 weeks rest then re-evaluate.

    looks like he's going to try to avoid having surgery.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 22 hours ago (view)

    AAA leagues really need to play through the month of September, because with September rosters being limited to 28 instead of 40, players will need to be moved back & forth between MLB and AAA throughout the month of September instead of just through the month of August. 


  • Mike Wellman 6 days 5 hours ago (view)

    I get you, SW. Here in Des Moines, Cardinal fans flocked to I-Cub games when Memphis Redbirds were in town. That won't happen in '21 and even if it does in '22 & beyond it won't be as frequent as when they were in the same division. Not that I'll miss seeing Cardinal gear @ our ballpark...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 6 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Ervin claimed by Braves. So we lose a potential future (and also current) asset in exchange for one year of a very mediocre Jake Marisnick.

    This team has no direction at the moment.


  • Sonicwind75 6 days 7 hours ago (view)

    As a midwest kid now living in Texas, new scheduling is a bummer.  Only get a chance to drive and see Cubs once every 3 years with interleague.  Really looked forward to those games in Round Rock and the one season in San Antonio.  I understand it makes more sense in the big picture, just selfishly disappointed.