Ryan Madson sidelined by “a little irritation in his arm”

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Ryan Madson was unavailable for the Reds’ first two spring training games because of what manager Dusty Baker describes as “a little irritation in his arm.”

More specifically Madson has a minor elbow injury, but according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com the Reds aren’t particularly worried about his status yet.

Madson was on the verge of signing a four-year, $44 million deal with the Phillies, but once that offer dried up he managed only a one-year, $8.5 million contract from the Reds.

With a strong season as a full-time closer he should be able to recoup much of that lost money, which is why staying healthy is so crucial for the 31-year-old right-hander as he replaces Francisco Cordero in Cincinnati.

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.