Source: Padres bring back RHP Nick Martinez on 3-year deal

Nick Martinez, who pitched in practically every role last season, has returned to the San Diego Padres with a new three-year contract, a source confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

Martinez recently opted out of the three remaining years of a deal he signed in March, coming off a breakout season in Japan, which were valued at about $18 million. His new contract will guarantee him $26 million from 2023 to 2025 and carries incentives that, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, can increase the value to $42 million.

The deal is essentially a one-year contract with a club option covering the 2024 and 2025 seasons. If the club option is declined, Martinez would hold two player options, a source said.

Martinez, 32, posted a 3.47 ERA in 106⅓ innings in 2022, starting 10 games and saving eight others. When the Padres went to a six-man rotation early in the year, Martinez worked as a starting pitcher. When Josh Hader struggled in the ninth inning, Martinez served as the team's closer. And when the Padres made a deep run in the postseason, Martinez morphed into one of their most trusted back-end relievers, often tasked to work out of tough jams.

After an up-and-down start to his major league career, Martinez rediscovered himself during a four-year stint in Japan, most recently posting a 1.62 ERA in 149⅔ innings for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in 2021. Martinez thrived as a starting pitcher then and is expected to get that opportunity in his return to the Padres, joining a rotation that will include Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove and potentially Adrian Morejon.

Last week, the Padres also brought back setup man Robert Suarez with a five-year, $46 million contract, a deal that could set him up to be the team's closer if Hader departs as a free agent after the 2023 season. With their pitching staff rounding into form, the Padres are expected to shift their focus to their lineup, with holes remaining at first base, designated hitter and left field.

The New York Post first reported the agreement.