Extremely minor deal theater: Seattle Mariners

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I’d like to think that the Mariners saw what the Nationals did earlier today, decided that they would NOT be outdone in the almost negligible transaction department and rushed to sign Josh Bard and Chad Cordero.

Maybe this isn’t quite as minor as Washington’s deal: you actually start your backup catcher once in a while, so Bard should come in mildly handy. He’s a switch hitter. He might luck into the occasional home run. 

Cordero was once an All-Star closer who lost half of 2008 and all of 2009 with shoulder surgery.

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.

Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”

Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.

Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.