St. Louis Cardinals will not consider bringing back Carlos Martinez
St. Louis Cardinals will not consider bringing back pitcher Carlos Martinez, which is for the best for both sides.
As the St. Louis Cardinals search for pitching depth, they have been connected to various outside names such as Joe Kelly, Ryan Tepera, Collin McHugh and Andrew Chafin, among others. But the team has a number of in-house free agents that could fill those spots, including Andrew Miller and Carlos Martinez.
Just don’t expect Martinez to be back.
Martinez and the Cardinals are “moving on” from one another, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
This has been evident since Martinez missed the remainder of the season following thumb and ankle injuries and later had his $17 million club option declined. Once a pitcher who once seemed destined to be a significant part of the Cardinals’ long-term outlook, including making two All-Star appearances (2015, 2017) and being named the Opening Day starter twice (2017, 2018), he quickly became a liability.
Martinez posted a 9.90 ERA in 20 innings in 2021. In 2022, he had a 6.23 ERA in 16 starts, after looking like he had turned a corner earlier in the season before suffering the injuries.
His talent is likely to earn him multiple opportunities, though his time as a starting pitcher is essentially over. It’s possible that his stuff plays better pitching in short stints as a reliever, where teams won’t be able to square him up facing him multiple times. But to get that opportunity, he’ll have to settle for a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.
Since Martinez is a major-league free agent, he can’t sign until the lockout is over. And when it’s over, he’s likely to continue waiting until the top free-agent relievers come off the board.
But Martinez won’t end up in St. Louis. His time with the organization is over and that’s for the best for both sides.