There has been a lot of breathless Cliff Lee chatter today, and even some Zack Greinke stuff, but nothing on the biggest position player still out there: Carl Crawford.
The best we have right now: the Tigers like him, but the price is too high. The Red Sox can’t be ruled out, but nothing is happening. The Angels make a ton of sense but there haven’t been any rumors of discussions or offers or anything fun.
I had thought that Werth signing might have set off a bit of a panic for the only sure-thing bat on the market, but apparently that’s not the case. Oh well. There’s always tomorrow.
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.