The Dodgers made one of their first banknote collections before Tuesday’s trading deadline, announcing on Saturday that they’ve got the right hand. Chris Martin Cubs vs player/defense player Zach McKinstry.
Martin, 36, is playing the 2022 season on a one-year, $2.5 million contract that he signed as a free agent this winter. His deal comes with $750,000 worth of incentives, paid out in the form of a $100,000 bonus for accessing each of 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 impressions, as well as $125,000 for spending 40 and 90 days on the active roster.
Martin has already appeared in 34 games and scored 31 1/3 innings from 4.31 ERA balls this season, although play-independent metrics are more optimistic (3.02 FIP, 2.09 SIERA). Martin has been uncharacteristically vulnerable this year, but he has maintained his elite command of the strike zone. He’s hit 30.1% of his opponents so far and walked with only four of the 133 hitters he’s encountered (3.1%). It should be noted that one of those free passes was of an intentional type, and Martin has yet to hit this season.
The high-rise 6’8 Martin is one of the most popular outdoor success stories in recent years. After a non-descript tour with the Rockies and Yankees in 2014-15, he signed with Japan’s Nippon-Ham Fighters and tore up the NPB ranks over a brilliant two years there. He signed with Rangers for the 2018 campaign, and after his first infantry season again in MLB, he cemented himself as a quality savior. Over the past four seasons, Martin has announced a 3.46 ERA with a 26.5% strike rate and 3% flawless walking rate. Of the 431 bowlers who threw at least 100 major league rounds in that time, Martin’s walk rate is the second lowest in the game (slightly behind his former teammate. Josh Tomlinmark of 2.9%).
Martin will give manager Dave Roberts some reinforcements in what has been a generally strong relief team but also struggles with injuries. The Dodgers reducers were ranked 6th in the Majors with 3.37 ERA, but they lost Daniel Hudson For the season (anterior cruciate ligament rupture), it is not clear when Blake Trainin (Shoulder) will be back, and he also has both Prosdar GraterolAnd the Victor Gonzalez And the Tommy Canley On the list of injured at the present time.
In exchange for their one-year investment in Martin, the Cubs will gain up to five additional seasons of control over 27-year-old McKinstry, who debuted with the 2020 Dodgers and has been an up-and-down assist option in Los Angeles since that time. A left-handed hitter with experience in second base, third base, short and all three outside points (despite only 18 rounds in the center), McKinstry posted a batting streak of only .210/.266/.403 in the big leagues. This comes in a small sampling of 193 board appearances, however, and has been pretty impressive during his time at the Triple-A level.
McKinstry, the previous 33rd-round pick, scored 489 board appearances with Triple-A Oklahoma City in parts of three seasons and a massive .323/.401/.550 collection. The Pacific Coast League is a well-known haven for hitters, but McKinstry was nonetheless well above the league average on an average basis and had an impressive 18 home runs, 25 doubles and nine hits there. He starred in only 15.7% of his panel appearances and walked in 10.8% as well.
While McKinstry is likely to be a more useful player than a rookie at the big league level, there’s at least a chance he can hit enough to be a regular at second base – his best defensive position. If not, the Cubs will give someone to bounce around the diamond as a valuable role player for the foreseeable future. McKinstry will be absent from minor league options next season, so he should get a big shot sooner rather than later.
ESPN’s Buster Olney first reported that Martin was traded with the Dodgers family (Twitter link). Patrick Mooney of The Athletic first reported that McKinstry was headed to the Cubs in return (Twitter link).
“Friendly food junkie. Lifelong introvert. Student. Avid coffee scholar. Unapologetic travel specialist. Zombie buff.”