Boise State football's Martarano to sign with Chicago Cubs

Posted on June 16, 2014 

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Fruitland's Joe Martarano was one of the top baseball players in the state at Fruitland High. A 13th-round pick by Philadelphia in 2013, Martarano opted to play football at Boise State instead of signing.

DARIN OSWALD — doswald@idahostatesman.com Buy Photo

Linebacker Joey Martarano plans to sign a baseball contract with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, his father told the Idaho Statesman. Martarano is flying to the Cubs' minor-league facility in Arizona on Monday and must pass a physical exam before signing.

Martarano is still undergoing pre-signing physical and is expected to sign later this week.

The Cubs drafted Martarano, a 6-foot-3, 241-pound power-hitting third baseman who played Fruitland High, in the 22nd round of the Major League Baseball Draft earlier this month.

Martarano's father, Victor, said his contract is "similar" to the $100,000 offer he turned down from the Philadelphia Phillies after being selected in the 13th round of the 2013 draft. Then-Boise State football coach Chris Petersen did not allow Martarano to play both sports. New coach Bryan Harsin has been supportive of Martarano trying baseball.

"This is a unique situation, but Joey Martarano is a special athlete,'' Harsin said in a statement after Martarano was drafted. "We're proud to have him as a member of the Boise State football team, and we want to see him achieve his dreams. If that includes baseball, Joey knows we are here to support him."

The plan, Victor Martarano told the Statesman before the draft, was for Joey to play baseball for several weeks before returning to the Boise State football team in time for fall practice. It is possible Martarano could play for the Boise Hawks this summer. The Hawks are the Cubs' short-season Class A affiliate.

Martarano, who turns 20 at the end of July, has not played organized baseball since the spring of 2013 with Fruitland.

On the football field, Martarano redshirted in 2013 for Boise State. He is expected to be a backup linebacker this fall, while contributing on special teams and possibly playing offense at fullback or H-back.

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