Dodgers acquire pitcher Chris Martin in exchange for Cubs

It didn’t rock the boat, but Dodgers hope their first acquisition on the Saturday before the deadline will help stabilize the ship going forward.

The team was replenished with a veteran right-handed feeder Chris Martin in a deal with the Chicago Cubs, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed, adding an experienced hand to the bullpen still waiting for several other key feeders to recover from injuries.

Trade was more functional than flashy.

In 34 games this year, the 36-year-old has a 4.31 ERA and one of the best strikeout rates (30.1%) and walking rates (3%) in the major leagues. He mostly relies on a mid-90s fastball, but he only has six pitches in his arsenal. He has recent postseason experience, having been with the Atlanta Braves each of the last three October.

In exchange, the Dodgers send Cubs outfielder Zach McKinstry, a rarely used left-hander backup who flashed potential as a rookie early last year, but has since slipped down the organizational depth chart with just two major league starts this year.

While the Dodgers have the sixth-best ERA by a pitcher, their bullpen is still in limbo ahead of the final months of the season – still not sure exactly who they can rely on in the playoffs.

Right-handers Blake Trienen (shoulder) and Danny Duffy (flexor tendon) once again clashed with hitters but were weeks away from returning to action.

Right-hander Tommy Canle (forearm) is likely further behind them, and setter Daniel Hudson (anterior cruciate ligament tear) has been lost this season.

Brousdar Gratrol (shoulder) has been out of action for nearly three weeks as the team continues to closely monitor his recovery.

The Dodgers are facing questions in a more intimate role with veteran Craig Kimbrel. continuing to fight a year of ups and downs.

In the meantime, Evan Phillips, Yancy Almonte, Caleb Ferguson and Alex Vesia have taken on leadership roles.

If Walker Buhler and Dustin May return healthy before the end of the season, the Dodgers could have a surplus of starting pitchers to help cover innings.

With so many unknowns looming along the way, the addition of yet another reliable – if unimpressive – assistant made sense for the front office.

Martin was perfect in every way.

Martin did not make his MLB debut until 2014 when he was 27 years old. After wrestling with the Rockies and New York Yankees for the next two years, he went overseas to try to revive his career, spending two seasons in Japan with the Nippon Ham Fighters, where Angels star Shohei Otani was one of his teammates.

Martin returned to the big leagues with the Texas Rangers in 2018 before being traded to the Braves before the 2019 deadline.

He had his most successful season in 2020, posting a 1.00 ERA in 19 regular season games and a 2.25 ERA in nine postseason games, though he conceded the series-clinching series in Game 7 of the NLCS Dodgers at the home of Cody Bellinger. run.

After posting a 3.95 ERA last year, Martin signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Cubs this offseason.

However, his biggest goal for the Dodgers will come in the next three months.

It won’t be one of the most notable trades this year, but the Dodgers are hoping he can further solidify their bullpen depth as they look forward to October and the playoffs.