The Diamondbacks have non-tendered right-handed reliever Brad Boxberger, according to a team announcement on Friday. Boxberger will enter the free agent pool as one of just a handful of closers available this winter.
The 30-year-old righty was initially picked up by the D-backs during a trade for right-handed pitching prospect Curtis Taylor last November and was elected the team closer at the start of the 2018 season. He finished his run in Arizona with a 4.39 ERA and 32 saves across 60 appearances, complemented by a 5.4 BB/9 ad 12.0 SO/9 through 53 1/3 innings. He saw his stock plummet toward the end of the season, however, and was temporarily booted from the closer role after a handful of shaky relief appearances in September, during which he scattered six runs, three walks, and a single strikeout over two innings.
The Diamondbacks also declined to tender a contract to right-hander Shelby Miller, who was sidelined for the majority of the season while battling from lingering elbow issues, as well as infielder/outfielder Chris Owings, who batted just above the Mendoza Line with a .206/.272/.302 batting line, four homers, and a near career-worst -0.8 fWAR in 2018.
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.