Gula Kareem, one of several catchers for the Toronto Nomads, has become a New York Dragon in a move that will see second baseman Hector Martinez move to Toronto.
Kareem, the 30-year-old South African won a Platinum Glove award for being the Lake League’s top defensive catcher in 2016, and then was voted into the All-Star Game last season. After five seasons at the major level, he has a career average of .248, with 34 home runs and 105 RBIs.
Martinez represents a huge defensive improvement at second base for Toronto. The speedy Martinez, who hails from Veracruz, Mexico, has won the Platinum Glove in the past two seasons, and after six seasons at the top level for New York, he has a career .246 average, 102 runs, 96 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases.
Despite his low career average, Martinez is thought to be a solid, skilled batter, who at age 27 has room to grow and improve. Many observers rate the trade as fairly evenly matched, and for Toronto, the move frees up desperately-needed budget room as the club faces a deficit due to their several large player contracts.
Kareem will earn just over $8 million, while Martinez, who is eligible for arbitration, will earn just $997,500.