The Cincinnati Reds and right-handed pitcher Nick Martinez have agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal, according to ESPN. The contract includes an opt-out clause after the first year, the report states.
Martinez, 33, opted out of the last two years of his contract with the Padres in order to test free agency this offseason.
Last year with San Diego, Martinez made nine starts and appeared in relief 54 times. In his 110 1/3 innings of work, he had a 3.43 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 106 strikeouts against 39 unintentional walks. He had a 2.32 ERA in his nine starts, but only worked 42 2/3 innings in those outings.
The Reds certainly had a need for pitching entering this offseason. At 82-80 last year, they missed the playoffs by just two games, yet they ranked 13th of the 15 NL teams in ERA. The rotation heading toward next year is full of question marks, though there is good upside.
The good thing about Martinez is he has shown the ability to come out of the bullpen and even move back and forth between being a starter and reliever. This means the Reds can continue to stockpile possible rotation arms throughout the offseason and even have a chance to bump Martinez back to the bullpen, where they could always use more depth.
Still, the best bet here is the signing was made with the thought that Martinez would be part of the Reds' rotation come Opening Day.
There's still plenty of time to add a frontline starter and even more depth, too. Call this move a start for the Reds' offseason in building their rotation.