If the Cubs’ moves so far this winter have left you shaken and in need of a drink, their latest pickup might be just what you need. Desperate for outfield depth and unwilling to pay much to acquire it, the Cubs made the stirring decision to sign Nick Martini to a minor league deal. Though the transactions page indicates it happened several days ago, it just popped up on the radar and I only found out about it from Bleacher Nation.
The 30-year-old Crystal Lake native was drafted by the Cardinals in 2011 and spent seven years in their system before joining the Oakland organization. He finally made his debut in 2018 and hit .296 over 179 plate appearances, knocking a single home run. That lone dinger actually came against the Cubs at Wrigley, which was a pretty cool moment for the local product and his family.
Nick Martini's from the suburbs of Chicago so his family got to watch him hit a dinger at Wrigley.
What an awesome moment. pic.twitter.com/BdFbkB3eKK
— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 6, 2019
A left-handed hitter, Martini has displayed an excellent plate approach throughout his professional career and routinely puts up double-digit walk numbers. His strikeouts have risen over the last few seasons, though not to exorbitant rates, and he does a good job of hitting to all fields. Above highlight aside, he’s not known for his pop and will need to keep up the on-base skills.
That might actually be just what the Cubs need, provided everyone else improves their performance from last season. Having a fourth or fifth outfielder who can reach base and put the bat on the ball would have been a nice option last season. As with so many of their other signings so far, this is about acquiring depth and seeing how things shake out during spring training.