KEY POINTS

  • The San Diego Padres add a vastly-improved Nick Martinez to a deep rotation of players
  • The Padres are likely to cut some players to adjust their payroll expenses
  • Martinez is expected to showcase a stellar form after honing his craft in Japan

The MLB signing frenzy saw some players getting signed up ahead of the anticipated lockout.

One player who was lucky enough to close a deal is Nick Martinez.

The 31-year-old spent the last four years at Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball, but his contract with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks expired recently.

Regardless, it did not take long for the former Texas Ranger to get a new deal and ended up joining the San Diego Padres.

According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the native of Florida who also saw action in the Tokyo Olympics for Team USA agreed to a four-year, $20 million deal with the Padres.

Hence, Martinez makes his return to the MLB for the first time since 2017. He was initially drafted by the Rangers in 2014 but opted to take his act to Japan in 2018.

Worth noting is that during his time in Texas, Martinez was initially an infielder.

However, he was transformed into a pitcher by the Rangers and the results of that were seen when he officially debuted in 2014.

In Japan, Martinez posted a stellar 1.62 ERA with a 24.8 K% and 6.6 BB% for the Hawks this year in 149 2/3 innings.

Aside from that, his fastball velocity also increased to 94 miles per hour according to Sung Min Kim of The Athletic.

During his time with the Rangers, Martinez had a 4.77 ERA and 5.36 FIP over 88 career games, including 20 relief appearances.

Pitcher Nick Martinez #14 of Team United States Pitcher Nick Martinez #14 of Team United States Photo: Getty Images | Steph Chambers

The signing means Martinez will join a Padres rotation that already involves Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Mike Clevinger, Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet and Ryan Weathers.

Although it appears to show significant depth, there is a chance that one of those names may be dealt out to clear payroll space.

So far, the only one sent out is Adam Frazier who is now with the Seattle Mariners, which cleared roughly $7 million from the Padres' salary budget.