Report: Carlos Beltran going to the Giants

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UPDATE III: The AP reports that the deal has been agreed to, pending Beltran signing off on it.  Assuming that Beltran gives his approval, it will become offical Thursday afternoon.  The Mets will send Beltran and $4 million to help cover his salary to the Giants in return for Wheeler.

UPDATE II:  Now it’s being reported that it’s just Zack Wheeler heading to New York — maybe with some lesser prospects — but not Gary Brown.

Not that Mets fans can or should complain at all.  Wheeler is only 21 and he’s already one of the top pitching prospects in the game. Since being drafted in the first round in 2009, he has an ERA of 3.99 and 168 strikeouts in 146 and two-thirds innings.

UPDATE:  Whoa, this could be a better deal for the Mets than anyone thought.  With center fielder Gary Brown as the centerpiece it’s a fine enough deal, but Buster Olney just said that the Giants are also going to include Zack Wheeler, the Giants’ top pitching prospect.

If it’s just Wheeler, that makes it an even better deal than just Brown.  If it’s Wheeler AND Brown, mercy, Sandy Alderson has committed highway robbery, especially given how little leverage he had by virtue of Beltran’s no-trade clause.

1:23 PM: It’s not done yet, but Jon Heyman is reporting that the Giants are “in position” to land Carlos Beltran, and Tim Brown of Yahoo! says that says that there is a “good likelihood” of Beltran going to San Francisco. Joel Sherman quotes an executive of a team that fell out of the bidding for Beltran saying “”He is as close to being a Giant as you can be.”

Obviously the talent they have to give up will determine whether this is a good deal — we’ve heard names ranging from Zack Wheeler to Gary Brown to Francisco Peguero to Charlie Culberson mentioned — but getting Beltran makes oodles of sense for the offensively-challenged Giants. For what it’s worth, Jon Paul Morosi is reporting that the Giants are going to include the center fielder Brown, which would be super appealing to the Mets.

Updates as they happen, but everyone seems to think it’s happening today.

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.