Back in March the Mets signed reliever Kiko Calero to a minor league contract, hoping he might come close to replicating his impressive 2009 stat line: a 1.95 ERA, 69 strikeouts and a .180 opponents’ batting average in 60 innings for the Marlins. It hasn’t exactly worked out like that.
Kalero has allowed 24 runs — all of them earned — in only 17 innings this season at Triple-A Buffalo. And was told Sunday that he’s been released, according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin.
Calero has always struggled with injuries but is typically very sharp when healthy. This year he’s been healthy, but frighteningly ineffective against a lower tier of competition. Maybe another team will give him a shot. He is 35 and has a 3.24 ERA and 1.20 career WHIP over seven major league seasons.
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.