Marquis in pinstripes would be great news for AL rivals

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It’s a lesson all of the AL contenders have learned in recent years: a team must be very, very careful when looking to NL pitchers to bolster their staffs.
Jason Marquis is exactly the kind of pitcher who needs to be left in the easier league. He’s an accomplished innings eater, but he hasn’t finished with an ERA under 4.00 since 2004. His career WHIP in 10 seasons is 1.42. He fans barely five batters per nine innings and that’s with some assistance from getting to face a pitcher twice a game.
Marquis did start getting more grounders during his surprisingly successful year in Colorado, but prior to that, he was never the true sinkerballer he was traditionally billed as. He’s surrendered as many as 35 homers in a season, and he’s always walked too many batters.
All those factors made it quite a surprise when the news leaked Monday that the Yankees have talked Marquis over with his agents. There’s nothing to suggest serious negotiations have taken place, but it appears they are considering Marquis for one of their rotation vacancies.
The Red Sox and Rays would likely be glad to see it. Marquis would have a difficult time keeping his ERA under 5.00 while pitching in the AL East. He probably wouldn’t fall apart physically like Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright did, but there’s reason to think the Yankees could get the same results from Ian Kennedy as they could from plugging Marquis into their rotation.

Cardinals extend José Martínez through 2020

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First baseman/outfielder José Martínez agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals on Saturday, per a team announcement. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Martínez will receive $3.25 million in the deal plus incentives if he earns a more stable place within the starting lineup.

Martínez, 30, played 887 games in the minors before making his major-league debut with the Cardinals at the tail end of the 2016 season. The veteran first baseman has been nothing but productive in the three years since his debut, however, and turned in a career-best performance in 2018 after slashing .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs, an .821 OPS, and 2.3 fWAR through 590 plate appearances. While he brings some positional flexibility to the table, he’ll be forced to compete against Dexter Fowler and Tyler O'Neill for a full-time gig in right field this year, as Paul Goldschmidt currently has a lock on first base.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the extension wasn’t solely precipitated by Martínez’s productivity in the majors, but by a competing offer from an unnamed Japanese team over the offseason. Goold adds that Martínez would have earned “significantly more than he would in the majors” had the club sold his rights. In the end, they ultimately elected to ink him to a more lucrative deal themselves. He’ll be eligible for arbitration in 2020.