Reds Sign Nick Plummer, Nick Martini To Minors Contracts

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The Reds have signed Nick Plummer and Nick Martini to minor league deals, according to the team’s transactions page.  Neither player was on the Reds’ initial list of non-roster players at Spring Training, though it is possible either player has received an invite to Cincinnati’s big league spring camp.

Plummer got his first taste of the majors last season, as he hit .138/.194/.379 over 31 plate appearances in 14 games with the Mets.  Despite the lack of MLB experience, the Mets signed Plummer to a Major League deal last winter after he became a minor league free agent, leaving the Cardinals for a new opportunity in New York.  While the move paid off for Plummer in the form of his debut in the Show, the Mets designated him for assignment and outrighted him off their 40-man roster in August, and the 26-year-old Plummer again entered the open market once the offseason began.

St. Louis chose Plummer with the 23rd overall pick of the 2015 draft, but he produced only sporadic results in the minor leagues.  It seemed like Plummer had broken out with a .280/.415/.479 slash line over 477 combined PA for the Cardinals’ Double-A and Triple-A affiliates in 2021, but that wasn’t enough to get him a look on the Cards’ big league roster.  The outfielder couldn’t keep up the production with the Mets’ Triple-A team this year, batting a more modest .238/.330/.379 in 270 PA.

Martini, 32, also began his pro career as a Cardinals draft pick, selected in the seventh round back in 2011.  He broke into the majors with the Athletics in 2018, and hit .270/.369/.369 over 333 PA and 112 games with the A’s, Padres, and Cubs from 2018-21.  This is actually the second time Martini has been part of Cincinnati’s organization, as the Reds took Martini off waivers from the Padres in November 2019, only to lose him to the Phillies on another waiver claim less than two months later.

In 2022, Martini headed to the Korea Baseball Organization, and hit an impressive .296/.365/.461 with 16 homers over 576 PA with the NC Dinos.  This production comes pretty close to Martini’s .298/.399/.437 slash line in 1769 career PA at the Triple-A level, and while will tell if Martini is ultimately a “Quad-A” type of player, his knack for getting on base has carried over to all levels during his career.

Martini has been a corner outfielder and first baseman over the last few seasons, while Plummer has experience at all three outfield spots.  They’ll combine to give the Reds more options to consider within a crowded but unsettled outfield mix.  Nick Senzel, Jake Fraley, TJ Friedl, Wil Myers, Nick Solak, Stuart Fairchild, minor league signing Chad Pinder and more could all be line for outfield time, though some of those players (i.e. Myers, Pinder, Solak) also have flexibility at other positions.

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