Carlos Martinez says emotional farewell to the St. Louis Cardinals
Former Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez has signed a minor-league deal with the San Francisco Ginats. After nine seasons in St. Louis, Martinez says farewell.
The St. Louis Cardinals are losing a long-time staple from their pitching rotation. Carlos Martinez, who entered free agency this season, has signed with the San Francisco Giants on a minor-league contract.
Martinez pitched in St. Louis for the first nine years of his career. Along the way, he picked up 62 wins, 31 saves, and two All-Star selections. Martinez’s career with the Cardinals was a mixed bag of relief appearances and starts.
For the first two seasons, he primarily came out of the bullpen. Then, he transitioned into the starting rotation and notched two All-Star appearances and 42 wins across three seasons. He later shifted into a closing role for a season and a half before finishing his Cardinals career as a starter in the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Overall, Martinez was wildly inconsistent with the Redbirds. When he was on fire, he was one of the most dangerous pitchers in the league. When he did not have his best stuff, he was a hopeless liability on the mound.
After nine seasons, it is a shame to see Martinez depart from St. Louis, but it is also a necessary part of business. After receiving a five-year, $51 million contract from the Cardinals in 2017, the club had no choice but to decline the team option for the 2022 season.
While Martinez may have been a crowd pleaser – and annoyer – his contract did not make sense for the Cardinals to keep heading into 2022. With a full slate of games scheduled, the Redbirds are going to need a complete roster of elite MLB players and prospects.
Unfortunately, Martinez no longer fits that description at this point in his career. If he makes it back to the majors, it will be exciting to see him take the field. If the Giants can resurrect his career, they may have gotten a low-risk steal in the free agent market.