The early days of the 2022 Major League Baseball winter meetings were fairly slow for the Boston Red Sox, until they kicked off a breakneck two-day stretch with the signing of former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chris Martin.
Easily lost in the madness of losing longtime shortstop Xander Bogaerts and committing to Japanese standout Masataka Yoshida, was the fact that Boston made significant upgrades to its bullpen. Prior to the start of the winter meetings kicking off, the Red Sox landed former New York Mets reliever Joely Rodríguez in a sign they were looking to make marked improvements. Proving that hypothesis right, they then signed Martin and topped things off by agreeing to terms with former Atlanta Braves closer Kenley Jansen.
In three swift moves, Boston completely revamped its bullpen. On Thursday, Martin explained what went into his decision to join the Red Sox.
“It’s kind of come full circle. It was a pretty easy decision for me,” Martin said, per Alex Speier of The Boston Globe.
Martin, of course, was referring to his time as a prospect with Boston, who signed him out of independent ball before deploying him in the minor leagues for parts of three seasons.
His addition, alongside Rodríguez and Jansen, should help improve a Red Sox bullpen that was a significant weakness in 2022. Tanner Houck, John Schreiber, Ryan Brasier, Josh Taylor and Zack Kelly project as returning top-end options to round out the bullpen. Martin, who was 4-1 with a 3.05 ERA and a 0.982 WHIP with 74 strikeouts in 56 innings in 2022, provided another snippet that is sure to encourage Red Sox fans.
“Chris Martin said as Red Sox pursued him, they identified how many games they’d lost due to inability to hold late leads,” Speier tweeted Thursday. “He described that as an ‘easy fix’ that could help team improve considerably.”