Yankees Trade Proposal Would Add ‘Ridiculous’ Red Sox Pitcher

Yankees potential target Chris Martin (right)

Getty Yankees potential target Chris Martin (right)

It has been a surprisingly strong start for the Yankees bullpen which, through 17 games and a 12-5 record, has recorded an ERA of 2.38 and a record of 7-2. Clay Holmes has rewarded the organization’s confidence in him as the closer, starting the year with no earned runs allowed in eight appearances and six saves. It hasn’t all been smooth, but the relief staff has held up its end of the bargain.

Still, warning signs have gathered. The team will be without Jonathan Loaisiga, the reliable seventh-year setup man who injured the UCL in his right elbow in early April and will miss the rest of the season after having surgery to repair it. It won’t be Tommy John surgery, he said, but it will keep him out until 2025.

But the good news is that there should be more than a handful of strong relievers available on the trade market as the season wears on. Assuming the Yankees remain around the top of the A.L. East—and with a .706 winning percentage, they have the best record in baseball, even with back-to-back losses—the team figures to be willing to cough up a young prospect to solidify the relief corps for a long postseason run.

Yankees Bullpen in Need of Reinforcement?

That’s the thinking at Bleacher Report, which has the Yankees already seeking bullpen help, and tabs a particularly interesting possibility to fix it: Red Sox top set-up man Chris Martin, who briefly pitched for the Yankees in 2015.

Zachary D. Rymer of the site wrote, “Despite its early success, don’t be so sure that New York’s pen is capable of withstanding Loáisiga’s absence as is. It’s striking batters out at only a 15.3 percent clip, the lowest in MLB. To this end, his replacement will ideally be someone of bat-missing vintage.”

Indeed, the Yankees currently have only 47 strikeouts in their 64.1 bullpen innings, and there has to be some concern that they’ve been as lucky as good in how the back end of the staff has performed. Still, their bullpen WHIP is 1.104, which is sixth in MLB.

Martin is listed as one six potential fixes for the Yankees, along with teammate Kenley Jansen. Tanner Scott, Carlos Estévez, Adam Ottavino and Michael Kopech are the others.

Chris Martin Was Brilliant Before Shoulder Issue

The 37-year-old Martin was nearly unhittable last season in Boston. He had an ERA of 1.05, with 46 strikeouts in 51.1 innings pitched. He allowed 45 hits and just eight walks last year, with only two home runs allowed. He also had the fourth-longest stretch of scoreless appearances in team history, at 24.

“He’s on just a ridiculous stretch. That’s about the only way that I could put it,” fellow reliever Josh Winckowski told reporters, per NESN. “What he’s doing every time he’s called on to pitch. … It’s automatic. He throws strikes at an elite level and it’d probably be hard to find anyone in the big leagues with less walks than him.”

But Martin has struggled in his last two appearances, as his streak ended on April 5 with a run allowed to the Angels. He did not pitch again until April 5, when he logged a funky and mistake-packed inning against the Orioles, allowing four runs on two hits, a walk and an error.

Martin has been day-to-day since, with an injury to his shoulder, but as it is not his throwing shoulder, there is confidence he can return to form. Manager Alex Cora did say that the injury is something Martin has dealt with in his career before.


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