Mariners Claim Cody Martin, Release Logan Kensing


Jerry Dipoto made his first player acquisition as General Manager of the Seattle Mariners on Monday. Adam Lewis of the Seattle PI is reporting that the M’s have claimed right-handed pitcher Cody Martin and released veteran reliever Logan Kensing. Martin will take Kensing’s spot on the Mariners’ 40-man roster.

It is a homecoming of sorts for Cody Martin. The 26-year-old played his college ball in Spokane, WA with the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Martin grew up in California, but I’m sure he is happy to be heading back to the Pacific Northwest.

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Martin started the 2015 season in the Atlanta Braves’ bullpen before being purchased by the Oakland A’s in July. He put up decent numbers with the Braves, going 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA across 21 appearances. Martin struggled in limited opportunities in the American League, going 0-2 and posting a 14.00 ERA through 4 games (2 starts) with Oakland.

Despite his subpar big league numbers, Martin has been a useful arm throughout his minor league career. The Dos Palos, CA product went 5-7 with a 4.01 ERA through 94.1 innings pitched in Triple-A last season. Across three seasons in Triple-A, Martin is 15-19 with a 3.66 ERA in 58 career outings. He sports a 2.81 strikeout to walk ratio in five minor league seasons, and has held the opposition to 1.255 walks/hits per inning.

According to FanGraphs, Cody Martin is a fly ball pitcher. Whether it be the marine layer or the spacious confines, fly ball pitchers typically fare well at Safeco Field. Martin utilizes a three-pitch arsenal. He leans heavily on his fastball, using it 66% of the time, but Martin also mixes in an effective slider and an improving curveball. Martin is not going to overpower hitters, as his fastball hovered in the 89 miles per hour range last season.

Logan Kensing was a nice story for the Mariners in 2015, but his production left plenty to be desired. Prior to being recalled from Tacoma in mid August, Kensing had not appeared in a Major League game since September of 2013. The 33-year-old righty went 2-1 and registered a 5.87 ERA across 19 outings with the Mariners. However, Kensing had a great year with the Rainiers, and I think he could get another shot with a bullpen needy team this offseason.

Based on Cody Martin’s statistics, I highly doubt Dipoto views him as anything more than bullpen depth right now. Martin has a solid frame, but competing for a spot in the M’s starting rotation next season seems far fetched. Martin’s biggest asset is his versatility, and that should give him a good chance to toe the rubber at Safeco Field in 2016. He could be a long man or be used in a middle relief role. He could also be called on to make a spot start or two for Seattle.

Jerry Dipoto’s first move as the Mariners’ GM may not make national headlines, but adding Martin is a nice under the radar acquisition. Low profile moves are likely to be the norm this offseason for Dipoto and his staff. The Mariners already have a very talented core group, and finding productive role players this winter will determine whether Seattle can end their playoff drought in 2016.

Next: Mariners Manager Search Focusing on Tim Bogar

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