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Red Sox don’t know whether Carson Smith will pitch again in 2018

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Red Sox right-hander Carson Smith may not return to the mound this season after sustaining a shoulder injury earlier this week. On Friday, club manager Alex Cora said that the team has yet to decide whether Smith will be able to make a full recovery by season’s end, though they’re still “hoping for the best.” While the reliever’s rotator cuff appears to be intact, he’ll receive a second opinion on his labrum next week, after which the Red Sox will have a clearer picture of his recovery timetable.

A quick recap: Smith reportedly suffered a subluxation of his right shoulder after chucking his glove into the dugout on Monday night. The righty placed some of the blame on Cora as well, telling reporters that he had “thrown a lot lately” and overexerted himself in the days leading up to the incident — a situation Cora claimed to have no knowledge of. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list, although he’s expected to require more than the 10-day minimum before taking the mound again.

Either way, Smith is likely done for a while and may have to wait until 2018 before staging a comeback. The 28-year-old reliever has enjoyed a semi-productive run with the team so far this spring, logging 18 appearances with a 3.77 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.3 SO/9 through 14 1/3 innings. He pitched one inning during Monday’s 6-5 loss to the Athletics and gave up a go-ahead leadoff home run to Khris Davis in the eighth inning.

Cardinals extend José Martínez through 2020

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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.