UPDATE: ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that Giles will earn $500,000 if he lands on the big league roster. The contract also contains another $200,000 worth of performance-based bonuses.
9:18am: According to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers have signed outfielder Brian Giles to a minor league contract.
Included in the deal is an invitation to spring training, though it’s no sure bet that Giles will crack the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster. The club already has outfielders Jason Repko, Xavier Paul and Reed Johnson headed to spring camp and Giles might just be the least valuable of the bunch. The 39-year-old left-handed swinger batted just .191/.277/.271 in 225 at-bats with the Padres last year. He was limited to 61 games due to a knee contusion and remains a major injury risk heading into the 2010 season.
Oh, and if you’re keeping score at home, Giles is also a poor defensive outfielder.
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.