Martin adds experience to the bullpen (Brett Davis - USA Today Sports)
Martin adds experience to the bullpen (Brett Davis - USA Today Sports)

Roster Moves: Cubs sign righty Chris Martin, place reliever on 60-day IL


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MESA – The Chicago Cubs today signed right-handed pitcher Chris Martin on a one-year major league contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. To make room on the 40-man roster for Martin, left-handed pitcher Brad Wieck was placed on the 60-day injured list with a left elbow strain.

Martin, 35, has pitched to a 3.23 ERA (42 ER/117.0 IP) in his last three seasons dating to 2019, going 4-8 with 37 holds, six saves and a 1.05 WHIP in 123 games in that span. All told, he has posted a career 4.06 ERA (88 ER/195.0 IP), 59 holds and seven saves in 209 career major league relief appearances with the Rockies (2014), Yankees (2015), Rangers (2018-19) and Braves (2019-21).

The six-foot eight-inch Martin last season made 46 relief appearances for the World Series champion Atlanta Braves and produced a 3.95 ERA (19 ER/43.1 IP) with a 1.27 WHIP. He made five postseason appearances, allowing one earned run in 4.1 innings.

Martin enjoyed a career year in 2020, finishing among the N.L. leaders in WHIP (1st, 0.61), hits allowed (T-1st, 8) and ERA (4th, 1.00). He tossed a career-high 16.0-consecutive scoreless innings from July 29-Sept. 21. Martin appeared in eight of Atlanta’s 12 postseason games, pitching to a 2.25 ERA (2 ER/8.0 IP). In 2019, he walked just five batters in 55.2 innings, the fewest in the majors among pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched.

In 2016-17, Martin pitched for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japan Pacific League, going 2-2 with a 1.12 ERA (11 ER/88.1 IP) in 92 games. The 1.12 ERA and .154 average against were the lowest among all NPB relievers (min. 90 appearances) during that span.

Martin, an Arlington, Tex. native, was signed by the Boston Red Sox in March 2011 after pitching the 2010 season for Grand Prairie in the independent American Association. He pitched two seasons at McLennan Community College in Waco, Tex., before sustaining a torn labrum in his right shoulder in 2006 and undergoing surgery in 2007.

Wieck, 30, did not allow a run in 15 relief appearances (17.0 innings) last season for Chicago before he missed the last three months of the season due to an irregular heartbeat.

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