Report: Cardinals to sign Carlos Martinez to a five-year, $51 million contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and pitcher Carlos Martinez are nearing an agreement on a five-year, $51 million contract extension. An announcement is expected on Thursday.

Martinez, 25, is arbitration-eligible for the first time. He requested $4.25 million while the Cardinals countered at $3.9 million. The extension, of course, will help both sides avoid an arbitration hearing. According to Heyman, the $51 million contract will set a record for a player in his first year of arbitration eligibility.

Martinez has been nothing if not consistent, posting a 3.01 ERA in 2015 and a 3.04 ERA last season. He also went 16-9 with a 174/70 K/BB ratio over 195 1/3 innings. Among qualified starters, only Noah Syndergaard (97.9 MPH) and Yordano Ventura (96.1 MPH) had a higher average fastball velocity than Martinez’s 95.6 MPH.