The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed RHP JD Martin to a minor-league pact.
#Dodgers sign RHP J.D. Martin to minor-league contract, source tells The Athletic. Martin, 36, was #Indians’ first-round pick in 2001. Has thrown a knuckle-ball past three seasons, had 4.49 ERA at Double A with #Rays in 2018. Will work with Charlie Hough in L.A.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 7, 2019
Martin is a knuckleballer which is completely unorthodox for a typical Dodger signing but is wholly awesome. He is already 36 years of age which is a good margin past a typical minor-league signing but Martin is intriguing.
A former first-round pick (35th overall) of the Cleveland Indians all the way back in 2001, Martin was one of the top prospects in a then loaded Cleveland system that included former stars like Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips, and Victor Martinez.
His entire repertoire has changed since that time as he has tried to make a big league return as a knuckleballer.
Martin pitched in parts of two big league seasons for the Washington Nationals in 2006 and 2007 where he made 24 starts en route to a 4.32 ERA and 1.41 WHIP.
This appears to be nothing more than a depth signing at the moment but if Martin can reach the bigs at his age and after a complete renovation of his arsenal, it would be more than impressive.
Martin has been a member of the Indians, Marlins, Nationals, and Rays system. In 2018, with the Tampa Bay Rays’ Double-A affiliate, Martin pitched to the tune of a 4.49 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 25 appearances, which is entirely underwhelming.
Who knows, the Dodgers think tank could have seen something they loved about Martin just as they did with Chris Taylor and Max Muncy. At this point, it is entirely ignorant to be sure that any low-level signing has zero chance to make it to the bigs because of the club’s track record with under the radar signings.
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