The Chicago Cubs continue to pile up the minor league signings – more, I think, than usual – with outfielder Nick Martini becoming the latest.
Martini, 30, is a former long-time Cardinals prospect (who was there part of the time Cubs VP of Scouting Dan Kantrovitz was in St. Louis), who then became an Oakland A’s prospect (there when Kantrovitz was in Oakland), and saw some time with the A’s and Padres big league teams in 2018 and 2019. He bounced around on waiver claims after that, but did not see any big league action in 2020.
We’ve actually talked about Martini around here before, because when he started doing the waiver dance in his post-Oakland days, you could see in his profile a guy who could be a nice complementary bench bat:
Tons of walks, not a lot of strikeouts, huge line drive rates, decent baserunner, plays all over the outfield, etc. The only ding would be, in his limited sample, he hit righties very well, but could not handle fellow lefties. So he might be an option only against righties.
But, hey, on a minor league deal as outfield depth? That’s definitely an intriguing guy.
To that end, Martini joins Patrick Wisdom (minor league deal), Philip Ervin (waiver claim), Rafael Ortega (minor league deal), Ian Miller (minor league deal), and Michael Hermosillo (minor league deal) as all very similar additions this offseason (in terms of being similarly aged guys who’ve shown they can do it in the upper minors, but are no more than a “maybe” as a big league piece). I think it’s clear the Cubs are trying to pull off here what they’ve pulled off in the bullpen: grab a whole bunch of guys with interesting skill sets, and then see if you can get one or two to take a big step forward in your organization. The Cubs clearly have the space available at AAA and in Spring Training to accommodate taking these shots, to say nothing of the huge holes on the big league roster.
These aren’t moves to get you excited. And these are not even necessarily the types of guys who you could realistically expect to contribute. But the Cubs are where they are, and they might as well take these shots.
Also, cool history here:
Was apart of a pretty amazing moment at Wrigley a few years ago when he hit his 1st career HR with his family from nearby Crystal Lake in attendance: https://t.co/7eemByjpj1
— Mike Praznowski (@PrazMaster) January 8, 2021