Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and pitcher Carlos Martinez are nearing an agreement on a five-year, $51 million contract extension. An announcement is expected on Thursday.
Martinez, 25, is arbitration-eligible for the first time. He requested $4.25 million while the Cardinals countered at $3.9 million. The extension, of course, will help both sides avoid an arbitration hearing. According to Heyman, the $51 million contract will set a record for a player in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Martinez has been nothing if not consistent, posting a 3.01 ERA in 2015 and a 3.04 ERA last season. He also went 16-9 with a 174/70 K/BB ratio over 195 1/3 innings. Among qualified starters, only Noah Syndergaard (97.9 MPH) and Yordano Ventura (96.1 MPH) had a higher average fastball velocity than Martinez’s 95.6 MPH.
The Giants announced on Monday night the signing of outfielder Austin Jackson. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, it’s a two-year, $6 million deal with performance incentives that allow Jackson to earn up to an additional $2.5 million for a total of $8.5 million.
Jackson, who soon turns 31 years old, spent last season with the Indians. In 318 plate appearances, he hit .318/.387/.482 with seven home runs, 35 RBI, and 46 runs scored.
The Giants have been on the hunt for a center fielder and Jackson addresses that need relatively cheaply. Jackson will join Hunter Pence and newcomer Andrew McCutchen in the outfield.