Eliezer Alfonzo hasn’t reported to Dodgers camp because he has dengue fever

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Weird spring training injuries are coming in fast and furious now, but this one is on another level.

Journeyman catcher Eliezer Alfonzo hasn’t arrived at Dodgers camp yet because he’s stuck in Venezuela while infected with dengue fever.

According to my doctor, WebMD, dengue fever “is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses.”

Symptoms can last up to 10 days and include:

– Sudden, high fever
– Severe headaches
– Pain behind the eyes
– Severe joint and muscle pain
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Skin rash, which appears three to four days after the onset of fever
– Mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising)

Yeesh, that sounds absolutely terrible. Also: “Mild bleeding” would be a good band name.

Cardinals extend José Martínez through 2020

Jose Martinez
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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.