MLB

MLB free agency: Padres bring back Nick Martinez on three-year, $26 million deal, per report

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The San Diego Padres and free-agent reliever Nick Martinez have agreed to a three-year contract that guarantees him $26 million, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Martinez had previously opted out of a three-year pact that would have seen him earn $18 million, meaning this qualifies as a raise.

Martinez, in 2022 (his first MLB season since 2017), appeared 47 times (including 10 starts) and amassed a 3.47 ERA (108 ERA+) and a 2.32 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He had previously compiled a 91 ERA+ over the course of his first 88 MLB outings.

CBS Sports recently ranked Martinez as the 44th-best free agent available this winter. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

It would be cheating to write that Martinez looked different from when we last saw him (he spent four seasons in Japan, after all) but it’s true. New team. New haircut. New number. New pitcher. He scrapped his over-the-head windup in favor of a Clevingerian rocker step, and shortened his arm action so that his hand arc barely dips below his beltline, not his midthigh. In one respect, though, he remained the same: an unclear role. Martinez started the season in the rotation and spent the rest of the year in the bullpen, becoming one of two pitchers to record five-plus starts and saves (Garrett Whitlock being the other). Martinez has a varied arsenal that is good enough to elicit chases and suppress quality contact, but not loud enough to rack up huge strikeout totals. (Even in relief, he averaged only eight K’s per nine innings.) Of course, it takes just one team to view him as a starter for him to then be paid like a starter. 

Martinez is second notable Padres reliever to re-sign with the team after reaching free agency this offseason. Previously, Robert Suarez inked a five-year pact worth $46 million.

You can keep track of all the latest free-agent signings by bookmarking CBS Sports’ handy little tracker.



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