In November, the Texas Rangers non-tendered Nick Martinez and he became a free agent. Instead of signing with another MLB club, Martinez has decided to take his talents to Japan.
Baseball fans won’t be seeing Nick Martinez in a Texas Rangers uniform this year. According to T.R. Sullivan, Martinez has agreed to a contract with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. He spent the last four seasons with the Rangers.
He will be part of a six man rotation in Japan, and this could be a good move for his career. His last two seasons in the MLB have ended with him posting a 5 ERA or higher. This gives Martinez an opportunity to work on his craft and stay in a consistent rotation.
Since 2014, Martinez has been called up or sent down to Triple-A 13 times. He pitched in both the Rangers rotation and bullpen during those four seasons. He went 17-30 with a 4.77 ERA in 88 games (68 starts) during his time with the Rangers.
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Before Martinez made his decision, he talked with Colby Lewis, Tony Barnette, and Anthony Bass about their experiences in Japan. He even spoke to former Rangers manager Bobby Valentine, who won a Japan series title in 2005.
Martinez had flashes of success with the Rangers, winning Player of the Month in 2015. It wasn’t ever consistent enough to earn himself a long-term role on the team. Playing in Japan will give Martinez that much-needed experience.
Many players such as Lewis, Barnette, and Bass revived their careers by playing in Japan. Martinez is excited about the opportunity, and maybe we’ll see him back with the Rangers before his career is over.