Cameron brings 'sexiness, color' back to lineup

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cameron swinging.jpgMike Cameron returned to the Red Sox’s lineup on Sunday after missing five straight games with abdominal soreness.  When asked what he hoped to bring to the batting order after such a long absence, here’s what he shared with the Providence Journal’s Dan Barbarisi:

“Sexiness and color,” Cameron laughed, before getting serious. “No, It’s
going to be kind of cool.  I get a chance one more time to
run out here and see if I can play some baseball.”

Cameron is batting a healthy .271 with a .364 on-base percentage this year, but he’s struggled to stay active through a range of injuries.  The 37-year-old missed 34 games earlier this season due to an ab strain and he hasn’t played in over 150 games since 2007.  He’ll start about three times a week until the abdomen soreness fully dissipates.

That means both Bill Hall and Darnell McDonald will remain regularly-seen members of the Boston outfield.  In fact, they’re both starting today alongside Cameron, marking the first time in 10 years that the Red Sox have featured an all African-American starting outfield.  Good to see.

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.