Some San Diego Padres fans like myself woke up to some sad news this morning. Nick Martinez signed with the Cincinnati Reds.
Right-hander Nick Martinez and the Cincinnati Reds are in agreement on a two-year, $26 million contract that includes an opt-out after the first year, sources tell ESPN. Martinez, 33, opted out of the last two years and $16 million of his deal with San Diego to reach free agency.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 30, 2023
The 33-year-old made 19 starts for the Padres over the past two seasons, earning a 3.41 ERA. He appeared in 91 games as a reliever, posting a 3.48 ERA over 120 innings. Sometimes we don’t realize how impactful someone was until they’re gone and this might end up being the case with Martinez.
When the Padres decided to not bring Martinez back and he switched agents to Scott Boras, it felt like he was headed out of San Diego. But a $13 million AAV doesn’t seem too bad but perhaps they weren’t confident in him being a starter.
Obviously they’re also not in the best spot financially. Juan Soto—for now—is still on the books and according to multiple reporters including Dennis Lin, the Padres have less than $20 million of room. Adding Martinez at this time would take up a lot of their budget.
Now maybe they would’ve brought him back if Soto had already been moved because they’d know for sure that they’ll have more room to spend but A.J. Preller also wants to get this return right and that’s going to take time.
The Yankees reportedly are reluctant to give up their “upper-echelon young talent”, according to Brendan Kuty, so this could take another week or even more.
Meanwhile the Padres are seeing possible free agent targets go to other teams.