Seattle and Toronto swapping Brandons: Morrow for League in the works

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FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mariners “have reached a tentative agreement” to trade Brandon Morrow to the Blue Jays for Brandon League and an unnamed prospect.
Morrow being on the move is no surprise given that he’s been the subject of trade rumors all offseason, but the assumption had been that the Mariners would deal him for a hitter. Instead they’ll get League, a fellow right-hander who posted a 4.58 ERA in 74.2 innings out of the Blue Jays’ bullpen in 2009.
While that ERA isn’t impressive, he’s a 26-year-old ground-ball machine with a mid-90s fastball whose 76/21 K/BB ratio suggests that his performance warranted a 3.58 ERA more than a 4.58 ERA. League has a chance to be a dominant late-inning reliever, but because Morrow has similar upside with the added bonus that he may still end up sticking in the rotation presumably the prospect going from Toronto to Seattle has considerable value as well.

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.