SAN DIEGO (AP) — Right-hander Nick Martinez opted out of his contract with the San Diego Padres and became a free agent after going 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA in his return from Japanese baseball.
Martinez turned down a $6.5 million player option Thursday, instead triggering a $1.5 million buyout that ended his contract after one year and $7.5 million.
He made 10 starts and 37 relief appearances for the Padres and had eight saves. If he had kept his contract, he would have been guaranteed $25.5 million from 2021-23.
Martinez, 32, spent the previous four seasons in Japan, pitching first for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and then the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.