DENVER (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers bolstered their bullpen by acquiring right-hander Chris Martin from the Chicago Cubs for infielder-outfielder Zach McKinstry on Saturday.
The 36-year-old Martin won a World Series with the Atlanta Braves last season and pitched three times during an NL Championship Series victory over the Dodgers.
“We’ve had a really good bullpen,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “He’s been a big part of that. So I’m happy that he gets to go on and continue to chase another championship. His time here was good.”
The 6-foot-8 reliever is 1-0 with a 4.31 ERA this season, striking out 40 batters with four walks in 31 1/3 innings. He’ll support a bullpen that’s currently without injured pitchers Brusdar Graterol, Blake Treinen, Tommy Kahnle, Victor González and Danny Duffy.
Those injuries were a factor in dealing for Martin, who revived his big league career after playing 2016-17 in Japan.
“It’s a big driver. We’ve got guys that are coming back but there’s no guarantee,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s a veteran player, went over to Japan, he commands the baseball, so just to kind of have him here, it certainly protects downside.”
McKinstry is a 27-year-old utility player with a career .210 batting average and eight homers in 193 plate appearances. A 33rd-round draft pick in 2016, McKinstry has appeared in just four games since being activated off the injured list July 6 following a neck injury.
McKinstry has also played 48 games at Triple-A this season, where he hit .335 with four homers, 25 RBIs and a .904 OPS. He is expected to join the Cubs in the next couple of days.
“I think it’s just another flexible piece,” Ross said. “That’ll give us another multi-faceted player that’s got a skillset in a lot of different spots.”
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