Marlins’ new stadium will be called “Marlins Park” … for now

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Marlins president David Samson told Miami’s 790 The Ticket on Wednesday that the organization is in talks with multiple companies interested in buying naming rights to the nearly-completed stadium.

But no agreement has been struck yet, and that might not change before the facility opens its doors April 1 for an exhibition game against the Yankees.

Here’s the Samson quote, via beat writer Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“We were down the road [in negotiations], then all of a sudden we signed some players and some more companies got interested and then the price started changing,” said the Marlins president during his weekly live segment. “When you get into bigger numbers, it takes a lot longer to finish a long-term deal like that and I didn’t want to pressure anyone or myself. We’re happy to start with Marlins Park and see what happens.”

Marlins Park will host its first official big league game on April 4, when the Cardinals visit on Opening Night.

Cardinals extend José Martínez through 2020

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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.