Cubs Sign Righty Reliever Chris Martin

The Cubs have signed towering righty reliever Chris Martin to a one-year, $2.5 million deal that could pay him another $750,000 in incentives. Martin, who shares a birthday with yours truly, will turn 36 in June but has only thrown a total of 195 MLB innings across parts of six seasons. A late bloomer who debuted with the Rockies at age 28, the 6-foot-8 hurler is an elite strike-thrower who doesn’t give up many homers.

Those are both areas in which the Cubs have struggled over the last several years, so Martin should help to check boxes that have remained open for quite a while. Should Jesse Chavez make the roster, you may not have to worry as much about pulling your hair out due to walks by relievers. Martin also adds a little velo to the staff, though his 95 mph fastball is hardly uncommon at this point.

He’s got a starter’s repertoire, boasting a cutter, slider, sinker, and splitter to go with the four-seam, so he can pivot in the event that a particular offering is giving him trouble. The cutter has been his best secondary over the last two seasons, though the splitter was excellent in 2019 and could again be a weapon if he can regain feel for it.

This isn’t a splashy move by any stretch, but it’s a solid signing for a guy who should help to solidify a bullpen that recently lost Codi Heuer to elbow reconstruction. Look at that, I made it through the post without a Coldplay pun.

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