5 former Phillies competing for Cubs roster this spring
By Matt Rappa
3. Nick Martini
Left-handed hitting veteran outfielder Nick Martini never played a regular season game in a Phillies uniform, but he was strongly considered to do so as recently as last season. The Cubs are the latest to take a chance on him, signing him to a minor-league contract this past January.
In January 2020, the Phillies designated their former All-Star outfielder Odubel Herrera for assignment — following his 85-game suspension during the 2019 season — and claimed Martini off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.
When Martini joined the Phillies, it was his fourth team since August 2019, as he was likewise designated for assignment (DFA’d) by the Oakland A’s and claimed by the San Diego Padres, before being DFA’d twice more by them and the Reds and being claimed by the Phillies.
Just a month after joining the Phillies, they DFA’d him again once they acquired outfielder Kyle Garlick from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Martini went unclaimed and returned to Phillies camp as a non-roster invitee. He competed for the rest of the year there and at the team’s alternate training site in Lehigh Valley once play resumed in the summer.
The Illinois native Martini slashed just .226/.330/.323 with one home run over 109 plate appearances in the majors in 32 combined games between the Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres during the 2019 season. As a rookie, Martini slashed an impressive .296/.397/.414 with nine doubles, three triples, one home run, 19 RBI, 21 walks, and just 36 strikeouts through 55 games.
Martini has played primarily left field in his major-league career, but also has experience in center and right fields. He will only provide versatility for the Cubs, should he make their big-league roster at some point in 2021.