MLB notes: Martinez needs double surgery

Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez watches his home run against the White Sox U.S. Cellular...

Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez watches his home run against the White Sox U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Ill., Sep. 13, 2011. (FRANK POLICH/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:50 PM ET

Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez underwent the first stage of surgery to repair his left knee, the team announced Monday.

Martinez had microfracture surgery Friday and also underwent repairs to both the medial and lateral meniscus in his left knee.

The doctor who performed the surgery was optimistic Martinez would be ready to undergo another operation in mid-to-late March to reconstruct the torn anterior cruciate ligament in the knee.

Martinez is expected to sit out the entire 2012 season and be ready to return by spring training next year.

The Tigers, the defending AL Central champs, were in a bind to replace Martinez, who had 103 RBI last season, but opened up their coffers to sign ex-Brewers slugger Prince Fielder last week to a nine-year, $214-million contract.

FREE AGENTS STILL WAITING

With pitchers Roy Oswalt and Edwin Jackson and sluggers Vladimir Guerrero and Yoenis Cespedes, some potentially strong players can still be had on MLB's free-agent market.

Oswalt, no longer a lock to sign with the St. Louis Cardinals, was scheduled to meet with the defending AL champion Texas Rangers. The 34-year-old was a disappointing 9-10 last season with the Philadelphia Phillies but had a 3.69 earned-run average.

Jackson's blazing fastball helped him rack up a 12-9 mark with 148 strikeouts last season, and there are reports the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles and Cardinals are interested in signing him to a three-year deal.

Guerrero has 449 career homers, although he hit only 13 in 2011. If the Oakland A's settle on Manny Ramirez for their DH slot, it will cut Guerrero's options.

Cuban defector Cespedes has been a free agent for a few days -- the outfielder had 33 homers and 99 RBI in Cuba in 2011. The Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins, Orioles, Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians are said to be interested.

Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez and Hideki Matsui are other top hitters still available. Free-agent pitchers include Javier Vazquez, Scott Linebrink and Michael Wuertz.

BRIEFLY

The Baltimore Orioles have signed and invited 14 non-roster players to spring training, including pitcher Armando Galarraga. Galarraga, who went 3-4 with a 5.91 ERA last season, is best known for having an umpire's error cost him a perfect game with the Detroit Tigers on June 2, 2010 ... The Texas Rangers have agreed to a two-year contract extension with manager Ron Washington, the club announced Monday. Washington is now signed through 2014. The Rangers are 427-383 in six seasons under Washington and have won two consecutive American League pennants ... After hitting .230 with seven homers for the San Francisco Giants in 2011 and being bothered by a foot injury, Pat Burrell has decided to retire, CBSSports.com reported. Burrell was the first overall pick in the 1998 draft by Philadelphia and spent nine years with the Phillies. His best year was 2002, when he hit .282 with 37 homers and 116 RBI. He won the World Series with the Phils in 2008 ... The Milwaukee Brewers have signed veteran outfielder Corey Patterson to a minor-league deal. Patterson, an 11-year MLB veteran, spent 2011 with the Toronto Blue Jays and the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, hitting .239 with six home runs and 36 RBI ... Brooks Robinson is recovering in a Florida hospital from a fall that caused a broken shoulder blade. The Hall of Fame third baseman fell backward off a stage Friday.


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