We already know that the Rangers will make an effort to lock up ace left-hander Cliff Lee this offseason. Now new CEO and managing partner Chuck Greenberg is saying that he also plans to work out an extension with outfielder Josh Hamilton in the very near future. This according to the Dallas Morning News.
“Keeping Josh here for the long haul is essential,” Greenberg said simply. “His performance on the field speaks for itself.”
Hamilton, 29, is under team control through 2012, but the Rangers may want to buy out his remaining arbitration-eligible years with an extension that also extends into his first few seasons of free agency. If he keeps up his torrid pace at the plate, it could save them money in the long run.
The former No. 1 overall pick is batting a ridiculous .364/.411/.639 this season with 26 home runs and 80 RBI in 440 at-bats. He also has eight stolen bases and is a strong defensive outfielder despite his bulky size. Injuries have been a problem in the past, but it’s hard to top a healthy Hamilton when it comes to ranking American League outfielders.
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.