Before you read this, go back and read this. OK? Great. I won’t make you do that again every time we talk free agent stuff, but do please try to remember it.
Anyway, C.J. Wilson gave an interview to Scoreboarddaily.com and said this when asked if he might return to the Rangers:
Yeah, there’s a great chance because I like it here and I’ve won here. I’ve proved that I can be a good pitcher here.
The Rangers could certainly end up being the most desirable suitor for Wilson’s services. Indeed, rumblings out of the Yankee Universe — long thought the most likely team to bid on Wilson — have grown decidedly negative lately, and weren’t helped at all by Wilson’s lackluster postseason. But ultimately — as is the case with every free agent, money is going to play the largest role.
All things being equal, sure, Wilson chooses to stay where he’s comfy. But when was the last time all things were equal in the upper end of the free agent market?
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.