Is Lew Wolff about to get what he wants?

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It’s been eleven months since Bud Selig announced that the Athletics’ future would be decided by a committee. Specifically, a committee that would determine whether Oakland remained viable, whether San Jose would be better and what in the world to do about the fact that the Giants claim Santa Clara County as their territory.  That committee is expected to complete its work this week and issue it’s report to the Budster. Monte Poole of the Mercury-News thinks its conclusions were forgone:

In the 11 months that have
passed since Selig convened a committee to examine future prospects for
a ballpark in Oakland, Wolff has been about as patient as his
superficial exasperation will allow. He wants it known that he doesn’t
understand why it’s taken so long for his college fraternity brother to
abide by a basic fraternal oath: Thou shall always find a way to “hook
up” his frat brother — even if the Giants claim territorial rights.

Well,
it takes time for the commish to pull this off without making it look
as if the plot was hatched years ago, in the private room of a
steakhouse, sealed with the secret frat bro handshake.

Poole goes on to note that Selig has long been on record of (a) helping Wolff; and (b) dissing Oakland, so it’s not like Wolff isn’t going to ultimately get what he wants here.

Of course, if it was that simple this would have been done months ago. The fact that the City of San Francisco and the Giants have grown increasingly vocal about their claims to San Jose complicates things, and it would not surprise me at all if the bulk of the commission’s time has been spent trying to figure out the best way to buy them off as opposed to looking at surveys of ballpark sites in Oakland and San Jose.

Ultimately I think this gets done. It makes too much sense for Oakland to be in San Jose, the non-Giant owners probably agree, and ultimately the Giants — like the Orioles before them — will get some kind of payoff to agree to a the move.

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.