Rafael Soriano hires Scott Boras

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Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that Rafael Soriano has hired Scott Boras as his agent.

It was probably a forgone conclusion that Soriano was going to leave via free agency anyway, but this likely seals it, seeing as though guys don’t usually hire Boras to negotiate their creative, incentive-laden, keep-me-with-my-current-team deals.

The Rays certainly got great use out of him. Hoping to grab a draft pick, the Braves offered Soriano arbitration last winter, only to have him accept it. After bringing in Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, however, Atlanta wasn’t about to pay Soriano $7 million, so they traded him to Tampa Bay for baubles and trinkets. All he’s done for the Rays is post a  1.76
ERA, a 0.78 WHIP and notch 44 saves in 47 chances this season.

Soriano has been one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball over the past five years. Yes, there’s a lot of mileage on that arm of his, but he’ll likely get a nice payday all the same.

Cardinals shut down Carlos Martínez for two weeks due to shoulder issue

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosh reports that the Cardinals are shutting down pitcher Carlos Martínez from throwing for two weeks because his shoulder strength isn’t where it should have been at this point. Langosch added that an MRI showed no structural damage in Martínez’s right shoulder.

Interestingly, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak didn’t sound too happy with Martínez offseason training regimen. Per Mark Saxon of The Athletic, Mozeliak said, “Obviously, there’s a history with Carlos’ shoulder and it would be probably in everybody’s best interest if he maintained a constant or perpetual approach to that program.”

Martínez, 27, battled oblique and shoulder injuries last year. He accrued just 118 2/3 innings, making just 18 starts. He was moved to the bullpen when he returned from the disabled list in August and finished out the season in that role. Still, Martínez managed a 3.11 ERA with 117 strikeouts and 60 walks.

Langosch reported last week that the Cardinals were considering using Martínez in relief again in 2019. The latest news may push the Cardinals to indeed use Martínez out of the bullpen once again. He will be reevaluated in early March, but there is a chance he won’t be ready for Opening Day.