With the MLB trade deadline approaching on Aug. 2, the Los Angles Dodgers are busy looking at all the ways they could potentially improve their roster for the postseason.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has stated his opinion that the team has no needs to address, but that they are still open to upgrading their roster if the opportunity presents itself.
Of course, Juan Soto has drawn headlines as the biggest available upgrade, but L.A. could also benefit from adding depth to their pitching staff with so many players currently on the injured list, and they did exactly that in their first move.
The Dodgers have reportedly added a veteran arm to their bullpen by acquiring right-handed relief pitcher Chris Martin from the Chicago Cubs, according to Buster Olney of ESPN:
The Dodgers have acquired Chris Martin from the Cubs.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 30, 2022
In return, the Dodgers are sending utilityman Zach McKinstry to the Cubs, per Patrick Mooney of The Athletic:
Source: The Cubs are receiving Zach McKinstry in the Chris Martin trade with the Dodgers.
— Patrick Mooney (@PJ_Mooney) July 30, 2022
The 35-year-old reliever has pitched 31.1 innings this year with a less than stellar 4.31 ERA, however, his underlying stats are much more intriguing. Martin has struck out 30.1% of hitters he’s faced while walking just 3.0% of batters, giving him a 3.02 FIP.
Martin is also currently running a BABIP of .393 with a home run rate that is 6% higher than his career average and more than 10% higher than where he has been at the last two years. Both of those numbers are likely to regress, which in turn would help lower his ERA.
However, Martin has been hit hard this year, ranking in the bottom 30% of pitchers in average exit velocity allowed, hard-hit rate and barrel rate, and he has additionally been near the bottom of the league in getting hitters to chase.
Despite that, he still owns an expected ERA and expected wOBA in the 75th percentile, a strikeout rate in the 87th percentile and a walk rate in the 100th percentile of pitchers.
Before joining the Cubs, Martin spent his previous two and a half seasons with the Atlanta Braves and became familiar with the Dodgers during their two postseason matchups. In his career, he has thrown 226.1 innings with a 4.10 ERA, 3.33 FIP, 9.03 strikeouts per nine, 1.31 walks per nine.
Why did Dodgers trade Zach McKinstry to Cubs?
McKinstry has appeared in just 10 games for the Dodgers this season and batted .091/.286/.364 with a 91 wRC+. He has also been a versatile piece, playing right field, second base, third base, shortstop, left field and designated hitter.
He has played in 74 career games while batting .210/.266/.403 with eight home runs and a 79 wRC+. He first made his debut during the 2020 season and played very well in early 2021 before cooling off.
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