Padres Re-Sign Key Piece Of Pitching Staff

The San Diego Padres have retained a major piece of their bullpen (and/or rotation), re-upping with a free agent pitcher who opted out of his $6.5M player option last week. As first noted by Insider Ken Rosenthal, Nick Martinez is coming back to the Friars on a new deal.

Jon Heyman reports that Martinez's new agreement with the Padres is for three years, $26M. When he opted out last week, he had $19.5M left on the table for the remaining three years he had in place. 

The 32-year-old had signed a 4-year contract last season with the Padres, coming off of three straight successful seasons in Japan. He continued that with San Diego in 2022, posting a 3.47 ERA in 47 games, 10 of them starts, 37 out of the 'pen.

Most of his success came after he was moved to the bullpen. In 46 innings across his last 35 appearances, all in relief, he posted a 2.74 ERA while holding opponents to a stingy .211 average.

He prefers being a starter, so whether this deal contains a promise of a return to the rotation remains to be seen.

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