SAN DIEGO – That pitching depth the Padres were sorely lacking down the stretch last season? Well, they seem to have taken the hint.
San Diego has agreed to a four-year contract with right-hander Nick Martinez, a source told MLB.com on Wednesday. The club has yet to confirm the deal.
Martinez posted a 4.77 ERA across four seasons with Texas from 2014-17 before spending the past four years playing in Japan, where he had a 3.02 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He also pitched for Team USA in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo this summer, pitching to a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings.
The Martinez signing is the latest in a flurry of Padres moves aimed at bolstering their pitching depth -- and the first to address their rotation. (Martinez could also be used out of the 'pen, but the Padres view him as a potential depth starter.)
The Padres finalized their deals with right-handed relievers Robert Suarez and Luis García earlier on Wednesday. Over the weekend, infielder Adam Frazier was dealt to Seattle with hard-throwing left-hander Ray Kerr as part of the return.
San Diego already sports a rotation that features Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Chris Paddack and Mike Clevinger. Top pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore and 22-year-old lefty Ryan Weathers are options as well.
But the Padres learned the hard way last season that starting pitching can be fickle. Amid a spate of injuries, the Padres were left with few options down the stretch. They don’t intend to be put in the same bind this year. Martinez’s arrival signifies exactly that.