Texas Rangers: Could Chris Martin Become a Reliable Reliever?
By Andrew Webb
The Texas Rangers made many under-the-radar type moves this off-season. Signing talent for a low-cost with the possibility of a high reward. Could Chris Martin become a valuable piece to the Rangers bullpen?
Adding pitching depth was a must for the Texas Rangers this off-season. General manager Jon Daniels was able to add multiple useful arms at a low-cost to the organization. Was bringing in reliever Chris Martin the best move by Daniels this off-season?
At first glance, 31-year-old reliever Chris Martin doesn’t seem like much based on his prior experiences. He has a 6.19 ERA in 40 games with one save during two seasons in the MLB. Martin hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2015 with the New York Yankees.
Martin went to Japan, and his career took off. His first season in Japan he finished with a 1.07 ERA in 52 games with 21 saves. He allowed just two home runs in over 50 innings of work in 2016. He followed that up with an incredible 2017 campaign.
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Martin went 0-2 with a 1.19 ERA in 40 games with one save with the Nippon Ham Fighters in 2017. He didn’t pitch in as many games as 2016, but had just as much success. The Rangers believe he can translate that at the Major League level.
The Rangers signed Chris Martin to a two-year $4 million deal this off-season. Much like reliever Tony Barnette, the Rangers believe Martin can bring his success from Japan to the MLB. Barnette had a 2.09 ERA in 53 games his first season in Arlington.
This is a similar deal to what Barnette received from the Rangers in 2016. It’s a low-risk signing, and could potentially be huge for the Rangers bullpen. If Martin can carry his success from Japan over, then the Rangers are looking at an elite bullpen arm.