Cubs, Dodgers Swap Chris Martin For Zach McKinstry

12:57pm: The Cubs are acquiring infielder/outfielder Zach McKinstry in return for Martin, tweet Patrick Mooney of The Athletic.

12:40pm: The Dodgers and Cubs have agreed to a trade sending right-hander Chris Martin from Chicago to Los Angeles, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney (Twitter link).

Martin, 36, is playing the season on a one-year, $2.5MM contract. He’s logged 31 1/3 innings of 4.31 ERA ball this season, although fielding-independent metrics are far more bullish (3.02 FIP, 2.09 SIERA). Martin has been uncharacteristically homer-prone this year but has maintained his elite command of the strike zone. He’s punched out 30.1% of his opponents thus far and walked just four of the 133 batters he’s faced (3.1%). One of those free passes was of the intentional variety, it should be noted, and Martin has also yet to hit a batter this season.

The towering 6’8″ Martin is one of the most notable overseas success stories in recent years. After a nondescript run with the Rockies and Yankees in 2014-15, he signed with Japan’s Nippon-Ham Fighters and tore through NPB lineups over a brilliant two-year stint there. He signed with the Rangers for the 2018 campaign and, after a pedestrian first season back in MLB has solidified himself as a quality late-inning reliever. Over the past four seasons, Martin touts a 3.46 ERA with a 26.5% strikeout rate and an impeccable 3% walk rate. Among the 431 pitchers who’ve thrown at least 100 big league innings in that time, Martin’s walk rate is the second-lowest in the game (narrowly trailing former teammate Josh Tomlin‘s 2.9% mark).

More to come.


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