Team USA rallied late Tuesday to salvage a 4-4 tie in its exhibition game with the White Sox in Arizona.
Derek Holland started and allowed one run in three innings for Team USA. The White Sox added one run in the fourth off Luke Gregerson and two in the fifth off Tim Collins before the rest of Team USA’s relievers shut them down. Glen Perkins, Steve Cishek, Mitchell Boggs and even Heath Bell reeled off the scoreless innings.
Giancarlo Stanton was the offensive star for Team USA, knocking in three runs with a double and a sac fly. Ryan Braun went 3-for-4 with two runs scored as the DH.
Ben Zobrist, a late addition to the starting lineup after Mark Teixeira was injured during batting practice, went 0-for-4 from the ninth spot in the order.
The White Sox started Gavin Floyd today, and he pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out three. Paul Konerko, who is being talked about as a possibility to replace Teixeira on Team USA’s roster, went 3-for-3 as the White Sox’s designated hitter.
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.