Mariners president won’t confirm reported extension for GM Jack Zduriencik

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Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik’s contract is up after this season, but Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that he’s agreed to a one-year extension. However, when asked about the report Mariners president Chuck Armstrong declined to comment.

Seattle went 85-77 in Zduriencik’s first season as GM in 2009, but since then the Mariners have gone 260-350 (.426) while finishing below .500 every year. This season they’re 57-67, which is a 75-87 pace that would equal last year’s record.

Also of note is that manager Eric Wedge’s contract ends after this season as well, so if ownership doesn’t plan to bring him back for 2014 that could explain why they’re holding off on the Zduriencik announcement.

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.