SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres have signed right-handed pitcher Nick Martinez to a three-year contract through the 2025 season, President of Baseball Operations and General Manager A.J. Preller announced today. The agreement includes a club option covering both the 2024 and 2025 seasons. If the club option is declined, Martinez holds two separate player options and can either opt-out or extend the contract through the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
Martinez, 32, made 47 appearances (10 starts) in his first Major League season since 2017, going 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA (41 ER, 106.1 IP) while converting eight of his nine save opportunities. He began the 2022 campaign in the starting rotation and made 10 starts across his first 12 appearances before working exclusively in relief beginning on June 22 . He finished the regular season with eight holds and became the first pitcher in MLB history to have at least four holds and eight saves while also making 10-plus starts in a single campaign. He was scoreless in 25 of his 37 relief appearances during the 2022 regular season, posting a 2.67 ERA and .209 opponents’ average in that role. He went 2-3 with a 4.30 ERA across his 10 starts, including two quality outings (May 5 vs. Miami and May 30 at St. Louis).
The Miami, Florida native made his Major League Postseason debut in 2022, going 0-1 with three holds, 0.82 ERA (1 ER, 11.0 IP), .086 opponents’ average and a 0.36 WHIP. He allowed one earned run across 2.2 innings pitched in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series before allowing just two hits and zero walks while striking out 11 across 8.1 scoreless IP in six appearances in the NLDS and NLCS. In Game 4 of the NLCS vs. Philadelphia, he became the first reliever in Padres postseason history to throw 3.0-plus IP without allowing a hit.
Martinez pitched for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball Organization in 2021 and went 10-5 with a 1.62 ERA (27 ER, 149.2 IP), 1.03 WHIP and 146 strikeouts to 39 walks (3.74 SO/BB ratio) in 23 appearances. He finished first on the club in strikeouts and second in innings pitched. Martinez also won a silver medal with Team USA at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, going 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA (2 ER, 11.0 IP) in two appearances during the tournament, including a start in the gold medal game vs. Japan (1 ER, 6.0 IP).
Prior to 2022, Martinez last pitched in the states between 2014-17 with the Texas Rangers. In four Major League seasons, he went 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA (220 ER, 415.1 IP) and 237 strikeouts in 88 games (68 starts) for the Rangers. He began his NPB career in 2018 and compiled a 21-22 record with a 3.02 ERA (127 ER, 378.1 IP), three complete games and 297 strikeouts in 63 games between the Nippon Ham Fighters (2018-20) and SoftBank Hawks (2021). He was originally selected by the Rangers in the 18th round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Fordham University.