A-Rod and Seacrest, with their powers combined…

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The HardballTalk audience is probably a little too manly for this next item, but we’re throwing it out there anyway. 

Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez appeared on the L.A.-based Ryan Seacrest Show today and touched on a few things, like drilling Indians pitcher David Huff in the head last week, possibly being chosen as an All-Star this year in Anaheim, and something called a “power balance” bracelet.

Seacrest is an easy target for haters because he’s the host of American Idol, small in stature and still probably hangs with some of Los Angeles’ finest.  But it’s hard to knock a guy that hosts both a weekday morning and weekend radio show, drives the bus on one of the nation’s most-watched television programs, and hosts some program called E! News.  Here in the United States we tend to appreciate hard workers, and I’m not sure that guy sleeps.

A-Rod, meanwhile, is batting .293 with a .374 on-base percentage, seven home runs and 41 RBI through 50 games this season.  He’s the subject of a whole lotta hate as well, but usually for far better reasons.

Cardinals extend José Martínez through 2020

Jose Martinez
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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.