Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times reports that the Dodgers have agreed to a contract with Jon Garland. It’s a one year deal for $5 million with $3 million in potential bonuses and a vesting option for a second year if he reaches 190 innings. Given Garland’s durability, he’s probably a safe bet to reach the option benchmark. It’s unclear what will trigger the bonuses.
Garland is probably best described as an innings eater. Yes, he was 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA last season, but that was in the best pitcher’s park in baseball. He’ll still be pitching in a good pitchers’ park, but not quite as good. He also was pretty hit lucky last year, and he could see his luck decrease a bit going forward. All of that said, the Dodgers would have killed for that kind of dependable production in the rotation last season, and unless this is a massive overpay, it’s probably a pretty good signing for L.A.
It’s also great for the Padres, by the way, because with Garland cashing in on his one year in Petco, you can bet that San Diego will only continue to be a place where starters will go cheap in order to build up their value. If the Padres are smart, they can really play that to their advantage.
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.