It has nothing to do with Adrian. It has everything to do with a 17 year-old pitching prospect named Daniel Pesqueira. Jorge Arangure of Sports on Earth has the story and it’s a fascinating one.
Pesqueira was in Fort Myers, trying out for the Red Sox and likely to receive a contract offer when Major League Baseball informed him that, contrary to what Pesqueira believed, he was under contract with the Mexico City Diablos Rojos of the Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB). The only evidence that Pesqueira was under contract with Mexico City: a couple of exceedingly sketchy documents and Major League Baseball’s refusal to question the LMB’s assertions about their validity at all.
Enter David Gonzalez, who has taken up Pesqueira’s case, suing Major League Baseball and attempting to expose and ultimately put an end to the often shady dealings between LMB and MLB which keep Mexican ballplayers in a state which some of them call virtual slavery. What’s more: the pendency and outcome of the case could throw a major wrench into Major League Baseball’s plans to institute an international draft, as it seems so intent on doing.
Check out Arangure’s story and marvel at how much damage can be caused by some folks looking to make a few bucks and some other folks not having the nerve to rock the boat.
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.