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Dodgers bolster bullpen with Cubs MLB trade deadline deal

Dodgers, Cubs, Dodgers Cubs trade, MLB trade deadline, Chris Martin

The Los Angeles Dodgers have addressed their bullpen ahead of the MLB trade deadline. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Dodgers have traded for Chicago Cubs reliever Chris Martin. Chicago is receiving Dodgers infielder/outfielder Zach McKinstry, per Patrick Mooney of The Athletic.

Chris Martin, 36, is a seven-year veteran who has pitched for the Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves and the Cubs. Martin has posted a career 4.10 ERA, registering just seven saves.

One of his best seasons came with the Braves during the pandemic-shortened campaign, as he recorded a 1.00 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 18 innings.

In return, the Cubs get the versatile McKinstry, perhaps some insurance with utility Ian Happ potentially on the move ahead of the MLB trade deadline. In 74 career games, McKinstry has posted a .669 OPS while spending time in the outfield as well as second and third base.

It’s a cheaper way for the Dodgers to trade for bullpen help. It’s clear that the club isn’t satisfied with their depth amid the injuries to Blake Treinen, Tommy Kahnle, and Brusdar Graterol.

LA had signed Hansel Robles to a minor league contract earlier in July. Now, they trade for Chris Martin, the 6-8 righty who quietly has sneaky good stuff. Martin has struck out a career-high 11.5 batters per nine innings this year.

Armed with an upper 90s fastball and curveball with good movement, Martin will be the next pitching project for the Dodgers. They’ve shown an ability to help hurlers find another gear in recent years.

Could the ex-Cubs reliever be the next?