Rockies sign reliever Sean White to minor league contract

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Colorado has at least five and possibly six bullpen spots locked in already, but the Rockies added some more relief depth yesterday by signing right-hander Sean White to a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training.

White struggled last season, but has a 4.16 ERA in 134 career innings spent with the Mariners and has succeeded despite a terrible 59/51 K/BB ratio because he’s a sinker-ball pitcher who’s allowed just nine homers in 500 at-bats.

Continuing to keep the ball on the ground would make White a good fit for Coors Field, but he’s nowhere near an extreme enough ground-ball pitcher to thrive long term without significantly improving his strikeout rate or control.

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.