Boston Red Sox sign Carlos Martínez to minor league contract; two-time Cardinals All-Star (2015, 2017) to join WooSox rotation

The Red Sox signed former Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martínez to a minor league deal, a source confirmed Saturday afternoon.

Martínez will join the WooSox and start Sunday’s game in Toledo. The Red Sox view him as a low-risk addition to their organizational pitching depth and believe they have identified some tweaks that could lead to quick improvements, according to a source.

Martínez, 30, spent the start of the season with the Giants but is well known from his time with the Cardinals, with whom he pitched 274 games (139 starts) from 2013 to 2021. A two-time All-Star ( 2015 and 2017), Martínez made at least 29 starts for St. Louis for three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017, then split time between the rotation and the bullpen in 2018. In 2019, he saved 24 games for the Cardinals. He entered the 2020 season in the rotation but dealt with multiple issues, including COVID-19 and an oblique strain, and was limited to just 20 innings in total. Last season he suffered various injuries (and underwent surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament in July) and posted a 6.23 ERA in 16 relief appearances. Over the winter, he signed a minor league contract with San Francisco after the Cardinals turned down his $17 million club option for 2022.

Martínez, 30, spent the start of the season with the Giants but is well known from his time with the Cardinals, with whom he pitched 274 games (139 starts) from 2013 to 2021. A two-time All-Star ( 2015 and 2017), Martínez made at least 29 starts for St. Louis for three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017, then split time between the rotation and the bullpen in 2018. In 2019, he saved 24 games for the Cardinals. He entered the 2020 season in the rotation but dealt with multiple issues, including COVID-19 and an oblique strain, and was limited to just 20 innings in total. Last season he suffered various injuries (and underwent surgery to repair in July) and posted a 6.23 ERA in 16 relief appearances. In March, he signed a minor league contract with San Francisco after the Cardinals turned down his $17 million club option shortly after the season. He hasn’t made an appearance in the Giants organization, so his first outing of 2022 will be on Sunday. According to Athletic’s Andrew BaggarlyMartínez requested and was granted his release by the Giants.

Martínez, now healthy, will provide immediate depth for the Red Sox, who are currently struggling with a variety of pitching issues. Rich Hill is sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19 and rehab left-handers Chris Sale and James Paxton have each experienced minor setbacks in recent days, according to baseball manager Chaim Bloom. Martínez’s ability to start or replace was surely attractive to the organization.

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