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All-Star Game umpires, coaches announced

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Major League Baseball announced the All-Star Game umpires and coaches today. Ted Barrett will be the crew chief and will work behind the plate. It’s his second All-Star assignment in his 20-year big league career.

Barrett’s crew will consist of Jim Reynolds at first base, Alfonso Marquez at second, Andy Fletcher at third base, Mike Muchlinski in left field and Cory Blaser in right. The Replay Official who will be Marvin Hudson. The official scorer will be Ben Trittipoe. If you hear his name again after this it means he messed something up. He really hopes you don’t hear his name again.

The managers, of course, will be Dave Roberts for the N.L. and A.J. Hinch of the Astros. Today their coaching staffs were named. Roberts will put Dave Martinez of the host Washington Nationals and Rockies manager Bud Black on the squad. Roberts’ entire Dodgers staff will also be there. It’ll be a pretty full dugout.

Hinch has invited Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays and, in a bit of a changeup, invites Rich Dauer, who served as his first base coach during the World Series-winning season but who underwent emergency brain surgery for a subdural hematoma following the team’s World Series parade last November. That caused him to retire, but he’s apparently made a full recovery and will be back in uniform, which is nice to see. Hinch’s Houston staff will be on-site as well.

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.