Red Sox sign P Chris Martin

tims4wins

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I have no idea which of the 4 threads was first, so I'll post here. This seems so incredibly anti Chaim. Pay for 2 months worth of awesome performance? I don't get it.

Soon to be 37 year old with a career 3.10 FIP and 119 ERA+.

Maybe he's the next Koji, who knows.
 

BaseballJones

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7 years in the majors (arrived at the age of 28). Career #s: 3.84 era, 1.15 whip, 9.4 k/9

Last year: 3.05 era, 0.98 whip, 11.9 k/9

He seems pretty decent I guess.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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36 years old (we had him over a decade ago), career 4.5 WAR. Seems like a lot of money; he made $2.5M last year, but his 24 innings down the stretch in LA were excellent. I guess this is fine? It is nice to have a strike throwing righty for a change.
 
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Scoops Bolling

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Martin's been a nice high leverage reliever since he came back from Japan. He has some of the best control among MLB relievers with a 229/24 (that is not a typo) K/BB over the past 5 seasons, and keeps the ball on the ground (GB is about 50% every year outside of a tiny 2020 sample). Nice addition to the pen, he'll help.
 

radsoxfan

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I have no idea which of the 4 threads was first, so I'll post here. This seems so incredibly anti Chaim. Pay for 2 months worth of awesome performance? I don't get it.

Soon to be 37 year old with a career 3.10 FIP and 119 ERA+.

Maybe he's the next Koji, who knows.
As your numbers show, it wasn’t only 2 months of awesome performance. He’s had a lot of solid seasons.

Clearly he got a salary bump from 2022 though, let’s hope it continues.
 

adcasaletto

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Dec 11, 2014
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As your numbers show, it wasn’t only 2 months of awesome performance. He’s had a lot of solid seasons.

Clearly he got a salary bump from 2022 though, let’s hope it continues.
Certainly hope so. Chaim filling a need, and it wasn't a reclamation project this time. Maybe they've loosened the purse strings a bit.
 

tims4wins

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As your numbers show, it wasn’t only 2 months of awesome performance. He’s had a lot of solid seasons.

Clearly he got a salary bump from 2022 though, let’s hope it continues.
Ryan Brasier has a career 110 ERA+. I'll let you take that however you want.
 

zougwa

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Martin's been a nice high leverage reliever since he came back from Japan. He has some of the best control among MLB relievers with a 229/24 (that is not a typo) K/BB over the past 5 seasons, and keeps the ball on the ground (GB is about 50% every year outside of a tiny 2020 sample). Nice addition to the pen, he'll help.
Seriously. His career walk totals are a column of single digits.

I like the move both practically and philosophically. In a close game, late innings, throw strikes and don't give them free baserunners.
 

JM3

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It looks like the primary change Martin made between the Cubs & Dodgers is throwing more fastballs. His fastball & cutter have always given opponents more problems than his other pitches, so focusing on these more appears to have led to greater success & more popouts.

http://dodgersdigest.com/2022/09/19/chris-martin-is-cutting-his-way-to-success-with-the-dodgers/

& the never walking people thing is kind of cool. In 26 1/3 innings with the Dodgers (including 2 playoff games), he had 35 strikeouts, & allowed 1 walk.
 

LogansDad

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4 threads for Chris Martin? You guys need to get a life.

I don't hate it, and I think this probably shores the bullpen up for the most part. There are definitely worse pens out there than Schrieber/Martin/Houck/Barnes/Brasier. Find at least one more who can catch some lightning in 2023 and I kind of like it.
 

nattysez

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Looking at his game logs for 2022, he was used mostly as a one-inning pitcher and was occasionally asked to pitch 1.1. He's averaged about a K an inning.

$8.5m/year for a non-closer who's only going to give you an inning at a time feels like a lot, especially with Barnes already making $8m+, but maybe that'll turn out to be the going rate this off-season.
 

TapeAndPosts

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Uh, no? Wacha sucked in 2021.
Nice to have an example where a guy signs for the Rays, sucks, and then signs with us and is good. Maybe it's all random but I think we all want to believe our team has the special sauce to identify players they know how to get the best out of.

So Chris Martin, keep pitching like you pitched for the Dodgers. And if something goes wrong, hopefully we know how to Fix You.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Looking at his game logs for 2022, he was used mostly as a one-inning pitcher and was occasionally asked to pitch 1.1. He's averaged about a K an inning.

$8.5m/year for a non-closer who's only going to give you an inning at a time feels like a lot, especially with Barnes already making $8m+, but maybe that'll turn out to be the going rate this off-season.
Are we sure he's a "non-closer"? Not that I'm advocating that he should/will be the nominal closer, but we've seen the Sox deploy the old "closer by committee" approach fairly recently. He'll be getting some high leverage innings for sure, whether they're in the 9th or the 7th/8th.

$8.5M per year doesn't seem out of line with free agent relievers so far. Rafael Montero re-signed with the Astros for three years at $11.2M per. Robert Suarez re-signed with the Padres for five years at $9.2M per.
 

chawson

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Very okay with this. Of 200 qualified relievers to throw 100 innings since 2019, Martin ranks 12th in FIP (2.87) and 1st in BB/9 (0.99).

He has a 10.11 K/BB rate since 2019, tops among relievers. The next-best is 7.93 (Liam Hendriks).
 

chrisfont9

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Nice to have an example where a guy signs for the Rays, sucks, and then signs with us and is good. Maybe it's all random but I think we all want to believe our team has the special sauce to identify players they know how to get the best out of.

So Chris Martin, keep pitching like you pitched for the Dodgers. And if something goes wrong, hopefully we know how to Fix You.
Except that the Rays unlocked his secret at the end of that season and the Sox bought him out from Tampa to just continue what he was doing.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Uh, we were talking about guys parlaying 2 months of performance into a multiyear deal, which is exactly what Wacha did in 2021. Look at his game log. It had to do with changing his pitch mix or mastering his change, can't recall the exact reason.
Wacha got a one year deal.
 

nvalvo

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I like this signing a lot. That walk rate is a carrying tool, but it isn't the only thing he has going for him.

He's also extremely tall, has a six-pitch repertoire, but mostly throws a 95ish four seamer downhill and with great extension. His 2022 uptick seems to have been supported by a jump in swinging strikes, which seems to be the result of improved fastball location (and maybe mixing in more cutters). I think either the Cubs or the Dodgers figured something out with him.

Basically, his only wart is that a moderate number of the hits he concedes get crushed, as you would expect for a guy who spends so much time in the zone. But he's challenging guys in the zone and they are missing.

Relievers' results fluctuate, but this looks like a good bet at moderate money.
 

chawson

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The Sox now have three of the 20 unluckiest relievers in baseball in 2022, by difference between ERA and FIP:

Ryan Brasier - 5.78 ERA, 3.61 FIP (2nd biggest gap)
Joely Rodriguez - 4.47 ERA, 3.23 FIP (13th)
Chris Martin - 3.05 ERA, 2.18 FIP (19th)
 

scottyno

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Still could use another lefty out of the pen, maybe that ends up being Taylor, but the RHP side looks very solid assuming Houck stays in the pen.
 
Sep 12, 2022
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Great move the anti -Diekman. Martin doesn't walk people. A few things that have annoyed me in baseball over the last few years as I head to my 60s age. Relief pitchers that walk and stiffs who strike out. Good move.
Respectfully, Ron.
 

BornToRun

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Great move the anti -Diekman. Martin doesn't walk people. A few things that have annoyed me in baseball over the last few years as I head to my 60s age. Relief pitchers that walk and stiffs who strike out. Good move.
Respectfully, Ron.
I don’t mind strike outs so much but dear god nothing drives me crazier than wild relievers. The Diekman experience will haunt me for a while.
 

nighthob

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Martin's been a nice high leverage reliever since he came back from Japan. He has some of the best control among MLB relievers with a 229/24 (that is not a typo) K/BB over the past 5 seasons, and keeps the ball on the ground (GB is about 50% every year outside of a tiny 2020 sample). Nice addition to the pen, he'll help.
That was my thought, he's been a rock solid BP arm for a few years now. He might be a touch overpriced, but that bullpen seriously needed an arm like Martin's to eat innings.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Of the relievers that have signed multi-year deals so far this winter, Martin's is the cheapest (and shortest). If it turns out to be a mistake, it will be short-lived, and it's only money. I don't think it will be a mistake.
 

scottyno

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Isn’t it likely Taylor since they tendered him a contract? The bullpen seems likely done to me.
Probably, but his contract will be small enough that if he sucks they can easily just release him. If he's the 2019-21 version then it'll be Taylor.
 

radsoxfan

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Not sure why people hate the price unless you just didn't want them to sign any proven relievers this offseason.

He's not young but it's 2 years and the $ seems pretty reasonable to me given other signings.

Chaim isn't going to get anyone with his recent production at less than this.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Just read this in relation to the Martin signing (from the Athletic):

More than 200 major league relievers threw at least 40 innings last season, and only three of them had at least seven strikeouts for every walk. That’s elite.
Chris Martin had nearly 15 strikeouts for every walk. Martin walked fewer than one batter per nine innings, while striking out nearly 12 per nine. It was by far the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the majors, a distinction Martin also holds for the past five years combined.
Last season, Red Sox relievers walked nearly 10 percent of the batters they faced, the second-highest walk rate in the American League. That wasn’t a new phenomenon. The Red Sox have had the second-highest bullpen walk rate in the AL over the past five years. Ryan Brasier and Garrett Whitlock were the only relievers in last year’s bullpen who walked fewer than 2 1/2 batters per nine innings.

EDIT: his backstory of getting injured, not playing baseball for 5 years, and coming back is pretty cool. Plus, 6'8" tall. I think he's going to be easy to root for and I'm glad he just made his money after a couple of decades of grinding.

251 career innings, 261 strike outs, 34 walks.
 
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simplicio

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Yeah, forget the Diekman era, I'm still scarred from the end of Kimbrel's stay here. Can't wait to see Martin in action.
 

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Not sure why people hate the price unless you just didn't want them to sign any proven relievers this offseason.

He's not young but it's 2 years and the $ seems pretty reasonable to me given other signings.

Chaim isn't going to get anyone with his recent production at less than this.
Totally agree. He's a proven reliever, who worst case is solid, best case is very, very good, and they paid market price for two years. The Sox got better. There is nothing to complain about.
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
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This sounds like a pitching coach problem:
Last season, Red Sox relievers walked nearly 10 percent of the batters they faced, the second-highest walk rate in the American League. That wasn’t a new phenomenon. The Red Sox have had the second-highest bullpen walk rate in the AL over the past five years. Ryan Brasierand Garrett Whitlock were the only relievers in last year’s bullpen who walked fewer than 2 1/2 batters per nine innings. Six Red Sox relievers walked more than 4 1/2 per nine.
https://theathletic.com/3963103/2022/12/02/red-sox-chris-martin-add/?source=user_shared_article
 

Murby

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Mar 16, 2006
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Yeah, forget the Diekman era, I'm still scarred from the end of Kimbrel's stay here. Can't wait to see Martin in action.
Yes! My wife and I were remarking how Kimbrel would walk 34 batters in a weekend after I saw Martin's walk stat. Kimbrel was supposed to be good and he was very not. Maybe I underrated Diekman, so his walks didn't sting as bad. or maybe it was the PTSD from Kimbrel...