Orioles continue to show heavy interest in Mark Reynolds

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Desperate to add a power bat to their light-hitting lineups, the Orioles, Padres and Blue Jays have expressed interest this offseason in trading for Diamondbacks slugger Mark Reynolds.

Reynolds tallied 32 home runs in 2010 and a career-high 44 in 2009, but he’s the only player in major league history to amass 200 strikeouts in a season and he’s done that now for three straight years.  According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, that’s not deterring the Orioles, who are now heavily intrigued at the possibility of landing the third baseman while the Jays and Pads have backed off.

Reynolds has poor range at third base and is owed around $23.5 million through the 2013 season.  His strikeout rates won’t get any better with a move to the American League East and the O’s will almost certainly have to fork over a respectable prospect to acquire him.

Yes, it’s possible that the 27-year-old might improve his plate discipline and flourish in the cozy confines of Camden Yards, but Baltimore should know better than to make a desperation trade.  If the Orioles are going to catch up to the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays — heck, even the Blue Jays — they must do it through the draft and through the cultivation of what looks to be a healthy farm system.  Allowing Arizona to pluck a name or two from that system would seem to be a step in the wrong direction.

Cardinals extend José Martínez through 2020

Jose Martinez
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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.