The Yankees made a plethora of roster transactions on Wednesday – one of was which was releasing 29-year old reliever Chris Martin.
However, in an interesting turn of events, it turned out that the Yankees released the tall right-hander upon his request so that he can pursue an opportunity overseas to play in Japan.
The announcement came via Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, who confirmed that Martin signed a contract with the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league.
In exchange, the Yankees will receive $750K from Nippon for releasing Chris Martin. Bryan Hoch also reported that the terms of Martin’s contract with the Ham Fighters are yet to be revealed.
Interestingly enough, the Yankees acquired Martin from the Colorado Rockies last winter for cash, and after a strong performance in Spring Training, he was placed on the Opening Day Roster and became the first reliever to be summoned from the bullpen in 2015.
However, after a promising spring training and a promising April, Martin struggled in May, and was eventually placed on the 15-day DL with elbow tendinitis. When he returned he became a victim of the revolving bullpen door, and eventually finished the season as what we like to call a ‘suite case player’ – constantly being called up and reassigned between the Bronx and AAA Scranton.
When all was said and done, Martin finished the season with a 5.66 ERA in 20.2 MLB innings of relief.
This move came as little to no surprise, as the Yankees have a surplus of right-handed relievers including Dellin Betances, Caleb Cotham, Nick Goody, Branden Pinder, Nick Rumbelow and Adam Warren. If not for Japan, Martin probably would have been designated for assignment to make room on the Yankees 40-day roster before the Rule 5 Draft on November 20th.
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