Josh Hamilton wasn’t the only member of the Rangers playing through a painful injury.
Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, Mike Gonzalez has a torn meniscus in his left knee. He was pulled from the seventh inning of Game 7 last night due to the injury, which he originally suffered late in the season.
“We didn’t want to tell anybody so they wouldn’t try to bunt or anything,” Gonzalez said. “I just had to gut it out until the end.”
Gonzalez will undergo surgery on the knee next week, but expects to be ready for spring training. The impending free agent had a 4.15 ERA over eight postseason appearances and compiled a 4.39 ERA and 51/21 K/BB ratio over 53 1/3 innings during the regular season between Texas and Baltimore. The 33-year-old southpaw held left-handed batters to a cool .214/.264/.311 batting line. While he won’t receive a two-year, $12 million contract again, he certainly still has value in a set-up role.
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.