Red Sox release Carlos Martínez from minor-league deal; right-hander posted 20.77 ERA in 2 starts for Triple-A Worcester

Less than two weeks after signing him, the Red Sox released right-hander Carlos Martinez from his minor-league contract on Tuesday, per MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo.

Martinez, 30, inked a minors pact with Boston on May 7 after opting out of his deal with the Giants and becoming a free-agent in late April.

Assigned to Triple-A Worcester out of the gate, Martinez made just two starts for the WooSox and struggled mightily, allowing 10 earned runs on nine hits, three walks, and four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings of work. That is good for an ERA of 20.77.

This was a reunion of sorts between Martinez and the Red Sox, who originally signed the Dominican native as an international free-agent (and infielder) in 2009 before the deal was voided.

The following year, Martinez signed with the Cardinals and went on to spend the first nine seasons of his major-league career in St. Louis while being named to two National League All-Star teams. He made 16 starts for the Cards in 2021 before undergoing season-ending surgery in July to repair a torn thumb ligament in his right hand.

After St. Louis declined his $17 million club option for 2022 over the winter, Martinez became a free-agent and has already spent time with two different organizations since then.

Now back on the open market, Martinez — who turns 31 in September — will look to get back on track and revitalize his big-league career elsewhere.

(Picture of Carlos Martinez: Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Red Sox’ Carlos Martínez allows 5 runs on 4 hits in first start for Triple-A Worcester

Carlos Martinez made his Red Sox organizational debut for Triple-A Worcester on Sunday afternoon. It did not go well.

Getting the start against the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field, Martinez allowed five earned runs on four hits, two walks, and no strikeouts while only recording the first two outs of the first inning.

The right-hander got those two outs rather quickly, but then gave up a two-out double to Daz Cameron, a seven-pitch walk to Josh Lester, an RBI single to Ryan Lavarnway, a six-pitch walk to Jacob Robson, an RBI single to Dustin Garneau, and a two-run double to old friend Jack Lopez.

Lopez would be the last batter Martinez faced on Sunday as he was replaced on the mound by Eduard Bazardo. He finished with a final pitch count of 33 — only 16 of which went for strikes — and was ultimately charged with the losing decision.

The Red Sox signed Martinez to a minor-league contract on Saturday. The 30-year-old hurler began the 2022 season in the Giants organization but asked for and was granted his release by San Francisco in late April, thus making him a free-agent to begin with.

Shortly after the news of his signing broke, MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo reported that the Sox view Martinez “as a low-risk addition to their organizational pitching depth and believe they have identified some adjustments that could lead to quick improvements.”

Martinez, who turns 31 in September, originally signed with Boston as an infielder coming out of the Dominican Republic in 2009. But the Puerto Plata native’s contract was voided and he would up signing with the Cardinals the following spring.

A two-time All-Star who also pitched against the Red Sox in the 2013 World Series during his time in St. Louis, Martinez most-recently posted a 6.23 ERA and 4.76 FIP with 57 strikeouts to 36 walks over 16 starts (82 1/3 innings pitched) for the Cardinals in 2021. His season ended in July due to a torn thumb ligament that required surgery. The Cardinals subsequently declined his $17 million club option for 2022 over the winter.

After getting some work in with Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League during the off-season, Martinez inked a minors pact with the Giants in March but did not see any in-game action with any of San Francisco’s affiliates before getting released last month.

With that, Sunday’s start for Worcester marked Martinez’s first outing of 2022. While the results may not have been there in Toledo, it’s likely the veteran of nine major-league seasons was more concerned with shaking off any rust and getting back into the swing of things.

Before going under the knife last summer, Martinez primarily worked with a six-pitch mix that consisted of a four-seam fastball, slider, cutter, sinker, changeup, and curveball.

Given his past experience as both a starter and reliever, Martinez could prove to be a versatile option for the Red Sox should chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co. elect to call him up to the big-league club at some point this season.

For the time being, one would have to think Martinez will make another start for the WooSox during their upcoming series against the Rochester Red Wings that begins Tuesday at Polar Park.

(Picture of Carlos Martinez: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Red Sox sign former Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martínez to minor-league deal

The Red Sox have signed free-agent right-hander Carlos Martinez to a minor-league contract, according to the team’s transaction log on MLB.com. He has been assigned to Triple-A Worcester. SoxProspects.com’s Chris Hatfield was the first to bring this news to the forefront.

Martinez, 30, began the 2022 season in the Giants organization after signing a minors pact with San Francisco in late March. He did not appear in a game at any level before being released by the club on April 28.

As an article XX(B) free agent, Martinez had the ability to opt out of his deal by May 1 and informed the Giants he would be doing so beforehand, per The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Martinez originally signed with the Red Sox as a shortstop in February 2009. His contract was voided by Major League Baseball, though, and he ultimately signed with the Cardinals the following year.

After debuting with St. Louis in 2013 and pitching against Boston in the World Series that fall, Martinez spent the first nine years of his major-league career with the Cardinals and was used as both a starter and reliever.

Most recently, the two-time All-Star opened the 2021 campaign in St. Louis’ starting rotation and posted a 6.23 ERA and 4.76 FIP to go along with 57 strikeouts to 36 walks over 16 starts spanning 82 1/3 innings of work. His season ended in early July after suffering a torn ligament in his right thumb that required surgery.

Five months after going under the knife, Martinez began throwing again and started two games for Aguilas Cibaenas of the Dominican Winter League, allowing a total of four runs over three innings in those two outings.

Listed at 6-feet and 200 pounds, Martinez pre-surgery worked with a six-pitch arsenal that consisted of a four-seam fastball, slider, cutter, sinker, changeup, and curveball.

Considering that he is only 30 and does not turn 31 until September, Martinez may not be who he once was in his peak years with the Cardinals, but the righty should still provide the Red Sox with some experienced and versatile rotation/bullpen depth in Worcester.

According to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Martinez will start for the WooSox in their series finale against the Toledo Mud Hens on Sunday afternoon.

(Picture of Carlos Martinez: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)