J.P. Crawford
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Report: Mariners interested in J.P. Crawford

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic hears that the Mariners have expressed interest in trading for Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford as part of a swap that would send fellow shortstop Jean Segura to the National League. Nothing appears to be anywhere close to done just yet, however, as the Mariners are reportedly talking to multiple clubs about their All-Star shortstop and would need him to waive his full no-trade clause in order to approve any potential deal.

Crawford, meanwhile, has yet to break out at the major league level. The 23-year-old finished his sophomore season in Philadelphia with a mediocre .214/.319/.393 batting line, three home runs, and a .712 OPS across 138 plate appearances, though his numbers played up a bit during his rehab stint in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He also dealt with his first significant setback after fracturing his left hand on a hit-by-pitch in mid-June, and was subsequently limited to just six starts during the second half of the season.

While the Phillies have maintained interest in adding Segura (and closer Edwin Díaz, prior to Seattle’s pending deal with the Mets) to their roster this offseason, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia adds that they have no apparent intent to abandon their pursuit of free agent infielder Manny Machado. If a Mariners-Phillies deal comes to fruition over the next several months, expect the Phillies to make a play for Machado with the intent to shift him over to third base.

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.