Canaries Sign Right-Hander Martin, Bircher Traded To Lincoln

Posted: 7/14/2018


The Sioux Falls Canaries have acquired an important piece to bolster their pitching staff. Right-hander Chad Martin signed with the Birds on Friday, the team announced. The 24-year-old made his Birds debut out of the bullpen in Friday's home game vs. Fargo-Moorhead.

In a corresponding move, starting pitcher Joe Bircher was traded to the Lincoln SaltDogs as a player to be named later in the Birds' trade for Mike Hart this May.

Martin brings four years of minor league experience to the Canaries, having played in the minor leagues since 2015 in the Yankees' and Marlins' systems. This is his first appearance in independent baseball.

Martin was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 30th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of the University of Delaware. He spent parts of four seasons in the Yankees' farm system, working his way up to High-A Tampa in 2017.

The Yankees released the 24-year-old in June 2018; the Marlins signed him to a minor-league contract four days later. Martin made four appearances with the Short-Season-A Batavia MuckDogs before being granted his release.

Martin has put together great numbers in his minor-league career, never sporting a season ERA higher than 2.63. He recorded an 0.84 ERA in 11 appearances with Class-A Charleston earlier this season.

In all, Martin has a 2.25 career ERA in the minor leagues.

Bircher, the longest-tenured member of the Canaries, had a 5.37 ERA in 10 starts in 2018. Bircher had been on the Birds' staff since the 2014 season.

The Sioux Falls Canaries are in action at the Birdcage this weekend for a series with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks. Saturday is a special day at the Birdcage, when the Canaries will honor pitching coach Ben Moore for his outstanding career as a Bird. The first 1,000 fans through the gates on Saturday will receive a free Ben Moore bobblehead. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Birds fans can get their tickets at the Sioux Falls Stadium box office or by calling 336-6060.