SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Padres and right-hander Nick Martinez were close to an agreement but didn’t get it completed before the owners locked out the players Wednesday night, according to a person with knowledge of the talks.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no deal had been reached. The person said the two sides could revisit a deal once there is a new collective bargaining agreement, but that Martinez remains a free agent.
Reports surfaced Wednesday that Martinez and the Padres had agreed to a $20 million, four-year contract.
Martinez had a 1.62 ERA for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan. He spent the last four seasons in Japan, pitching first for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and then the SoftBank Hawks.
He was drafted by the Texas in 2011 and pitched for the Rangers from 2014-17. Padres general manager A.J. Preller worked in the Rangers’ front office before he was hired by San Diego in August 2014.
Martinez was on the U.S. Olympic team that lost to host Japan in the gold medal game in Tokyo.
It’s not a surprise that Preller is shopping for starting pitching. The worst collapse in franchise history cost the Padres a wild-card berth, and their season ended with their rotation in tatters. Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Chris Paddack all finished the year on the injured list.
Local product Joe Musgrove, who threw San Diego’s first-ever no-hitter on April 9, was the only member of the rotation who made every scheduled start. Mike Clevinger is expected back in 2022 after missing last season while rehabbing his surgically repaired right elbow.
The Padres did agree to a two-year deal with right-hander Luis García, a free agent who had been with St. Louis, and a one-year deal with a player option for 2023 with right-hander Robert Suarez, who pitched for the Hanshin Tigers in Japan.
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