The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly set to announce an extension for Carlos Martinez on Thursday.
Carlos Martinez, heir apparent to the top seat of the St. Louis Cardinals rotation, was set to go to an arbitration hearing for the first time in his career this offseason. That was until news bubbled out tonight that he is receiving an extension.
This is excellent news and I am over-the-moon about it. I’m thrilled to know that the St. Louis Cardinals value Martinez to this extent. I am also excited that the mathematics of the extension show intelligence from the organization and from Carlos himself to wisely lock a contract at this time.
Let me give a quick disclaimer: I am sharing a great deal of information and thoughts in this short piece that I have read tonight via Twitter. Many of these are opinions of fellow Twitter authors and many are allegations floated into the world. Tomorrow after the official announcement, we will know more about the specifics.
Here’s the skinny as we know it: Martinez- in his first year of arbitration- will receive a five-year extension valued at a total of $51M ($10.2M AAV).
He definitely deserves it. His last two season’s ended with a WAR of 3.3 and 3.4. If that isn’t impressive enough, how about a 3.32 ERA, a 3.36 FIP, and an 8.51 K/9? Want to keep that pitcher? I sure do.
Oh, and Martinez is just twenty-five years old. This extension will carry him until he turns thirty which is usually the around-about mark when pitchers bodies start “dying” on them (see the struggles of Adam Wainwright as detailed by Zach).
So why do I like the mathematics, you ask? This extension buys-out Martinez’s arbitration years (Martinez was to become a free agent in 2019) and adds three more years. This is great for the organization was likely looking to spend around $4M (or more) in this year’s arbitration hearing (for more on this, see Brendan’s article).
Paying arbitration now would only have purchased one year with another hearing to come at the end of the 2017 season. True, the St. Louis Cardinals will now pay approximately $10.2M per year (including 2017) but they also lock-up Martinez through 2021.
Two more things that I read via Twitter that I liked immediately: Martinez’s personality and his topping the rotation with Alex Reyes.
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This extension, therefore, ensures that Martinez’s personality will remain in the Cardinals dugout for five more years. It will ensure that Martinez is able to build his cup towers on his off days and even prevent other players from knocking them over. Or, even more so, this extension ensures that he will be present to splash home run hitters with water upon their return to the dugout.
My favorite item of this extension is his topping the rotation aside fellow fire-baller, Reyes. Can you imagine the next five years with these two at the top? To this point, Reyes isn’t even arb-eligible until 2020, one year before Martinez’s extension expires. So, then, yeah I’m excited!
All of this is fine and good should injury stay far away but let’s not think of that now. I, for one, will be anxiously awaiting the details from the presser tomorrow. In the meantime, shouldn’t this extension ensure that Martinez is the opening day starter?