The Red Sox have signed right-hander Carlos Martinez to a minor league deal, as per Martinez’s MLB.com profile page. Martinez had been signed to a minors contract with the Giants, but San Francisco released him from that deal on April 28.
The timing could indicate an opt-out, since Martinez was one of several Article XX(B) free agents who faced a mandatory decision date of May 1 on whether or not to opt out of their minor league contracts. If the Giants let Martinez know in advance that he wasn’t going to be added to their active roster and Martinez subsequently informed the team that he would opting out, it may be that the two sides decided to part ways in advance of that May 1 deadline.
Martinez has yet to pitch this season, as he continues to recover from the thumb injury that prematurely ended his 2021 season. The thumb issue was the latest in a series of injuries (including a shoulder problem, two oblique strains, and a nasty case of COVID-19 that required hospitalization) that have set Martinez back since midway through the 2018 season. Prior to those health problems, Martinez had three years of strong work at the front of the Cardinals rotation, reaching the All-Star team in both 2015 and 2017.
While Martinez still pitched well as a reliever in 2018-19, he has only a 6.95 ERA over 102 1/3 innings (in 21 starts) since the beginning of the 2020 season. That lack of performance led the Cards to decline their $17MM club option on the righty for 2022 campaign.
The Red Sox will now see if they can manage a second act in Martinez’s career. The 30-year-old would at least seem to have some viable potential as a reliever going forward, and the Sox are certainly on the lookout for bullpen help given how their relief corps has struggled thus far in the season.
There is some irony in the signing, as Martinez originally signed with the Red Sox for $140K as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic back in 2009. That was when Martinez as known as “Carlos Matias,” but due to questions about both his name and birthdate, MLB voided the righty’s contract with Boston. Martinez had to serve a year-long suspension, but then inked a deal with the Cardinals for a $1.5MM bonus in 2010.