Buster Olney passes along word that the White Sox have told “multiple executives” that they are “open for business” and are ready to deal anyone and everyone.
That includes Paul Konerko, Olney says, and certainly includes the players that have already been mentioned as possible trade chits in the past few weeks, such as A.J. Pierzynski, Mark Buehrle, Bobby Jenks, J.J. Putz and others.
The Sox had better hurry on Pierzynski and Buehrle, though: the former achieved ten-and-five status in a week, and the latter does so on July 6th, meaning either of them can block trades after that. Konerko has been a ten and five guy forever, but (a) he’s a free-agent-to-be; and (b) you have to wonder if he wouldn’t want to be part of a winner since he’s likely moving on anyway.
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.