After homering in his first major league at-bat with the Cubs in September 1983, Martinez was traded to San Diego with Craig Lefferts and infielder Fritzie Connally for Scott Sanderson, and in 1984 he started in left field for the National League Champion Padres, teaming with Kevin McReynolds to give the Padres a promising young outfield duo. Martinez led San Diego with 21 homers in 1985, then was hampered by tendinitis in one knee in 1986, hitting only .238 with nine home runs.
A heavy, slow-footed right-handed hitter, Martinez rebounded with a .273 average and 15 long balls in 1987, but struggled in 1988 and 1989 with San Diego, hitting only .236 and .221. After six seasons with the Padres, Martinez signed with the Phillies in 1990, but his offense never rebounded and he was traded three times in the next two seasons.
Carmelo’s cousin Edgar Martinez is recognized as one of the best designated hitters ever.