The Giants are still trying to sign Matt Cain

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The last time we heard about the Giants contract talks with Matt Cain, we heard they were going nowhere.  Funny how your arch rivals being sold for $2 billion to a bunch of guys who sound like they want to spend money can change things:

The San Francisco Giants are committed to keeping All-Star right-hander Matt Cain in their talented rotation beyond 2012, and CEO and president Larry Baer said Thursday that serious conversations are ongoing with the pitcher’s representatives.

“We’re earnestly working with his agents … It wouldn’t be good to forecast it. All I know is there are discussions, and the discussions have been continuing.”

Cain is going to make a lot of money wherever he goes. But whether it pertains to Cain or to other players in the future, the Giants — and the rest of the NL West — is probably going to have to get used to the idea that, eventually, the Dodgers are going to start spending boatloads of money and behaving very much like the Yankees or the Red Sox.

If they want to compete when that happens, they need to start thinking about how to do that now. They can’t wait until they become the west coast version of the Orioles.

Carlos Martínez to pitch out of bullpen upon return from injured list

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Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said pitcher Carlos Martínez will work out of the bullpen when he returns from the injured list, The Athletic’s Mark Saxon reports. Shildt noted that the decision is based on Martínez’s needs rather than the team’s needs, which suggests he may not yet have the strength to pitch as a starter.

Martínez, 27, opened the season on the injured list due to a right rotator cuff strain. The right-hander was also injured last year, battling lat and oblique injuries. He will go to extended spring training and likely begin a minor league rehab assignment next week. Based on that time frame, Martínez should be activated around mid-May.

Last year, Martínez made 18 starts and 15 relief appearances, posting a 3.11 ERA with five saves and a 117/60 K/BB ratio across 118 2/3 innings. It is unclear what role(s) Martínez will have in the bullpen, but he could eventually help set up for closer Jordan Hicks.