ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers have finalized Chris Martin’s $4 million, two-year contract after the homegrown pitcher spent the past two seasons in Japan.
The 31-year-old right-hander, who was born in Arlington and went to high school about 4 miles from the Rangers’ ballpark, had a long road to his first shot in the majors with Colorado three years ago. He pitched for the New York Yankees before joining the Pacific League’s Nippon Ham Fighters.
Martin had the lowest ERA (1.12) and opponents’ batting average (.154) in the Japanese leagues during the 2016-17 seasons.
As part of the deal announced Friday, the 6-foot-8 reliever will make $1.75 million next season and $2.25 million in 2019.
After twice turning down offers to sign out of high school and junior college, Martin injured his shoulder pitching for McLennan Community College. He was out of baseball about three years before getting a shot in the Boston organization.
Martin is 0-2 with a 6.19 ERA in 40 major league appearances, the most one recent on Oct. 3, 2015, for the Yankees at Baltimore.
He can earn $550,000 in performance bonuses with the Rangers based on games finished: $50,000 each for 10, 15 and 20, and $100,000 apiece for 25, 30, 35 and 40. He will become a free agent at the end of the contract.