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Cardinals agree on two-year contract with Jose Martinez | Derrick Goold: Birdland

JUPITER, Fla. • The comfort and enthusiasm expressed by Jose Martinez since it became clear that cardinals would not trade him this winter has been rewarded with a new contract. Martinez, still years away from the free agency and Cardinals agreed on a two-year agreement Saturday that insures the outfielder a place with the team until 2020. The two-year, $ 3.25 million includes the bonus that Martinez comes to get in the beginning of the season. It also includes incentives that will increase Martinez's value if he becomes a starter for the team and increases the opportunity to earn more through arbitration. Martinez, 30, would be eligible for arbitration after this season, so his new contract takes him through his first years of that process. He would have two years of law enforcement after this contract, and then be eligible for free agency after six years of service in total. What strained the deal was probably conversation about his contract for 201 9 – which the cardinals have the right to renew at a price they choose. The new contract gives Martinez security and immediate return on his performance in 2018, while giving the cardinals a probable discount on what he could earn through arbitration a year from now. A motivational factor for conversations was the possibility Martinez had this winter to play in Japan and earn significantly more than he would in the big ones. The Cardinals approached to sell the rights to Martinez to a Japanese law to…

JUPITER, Fla. • The comfort and enthusiasm expressed by Jose Martinez since it became clear that cardinals would not trade him this winter has been rewarded with a new contract.

Martinez, still years away from the free agency and Cardinals agreed on a two-year agreement Saturday that insures the outfielder a place with the team until 2020.

The two-year, $ 3.25 million includes the bonus that Martinez comes to get in the beginning of the season. It also includes incentives that will increase Martinez’s value if he becomes a starter for the team and increases the opportunity to earn more through arbitration.

Martinez, 30, would be eligible for arbitration after this season, so his new contract takes him through his first years of that process. He would have two years of law enforcement after this contract, and then be eligible for free agency after six years of service in total. What strained the deal was probably conversation about his contract for 201

9 – which the cardinals have the right to renew at a price they choose.

The new contract gives Martinez security and immediate return on his performance in 2018, while giving the cardinals a probable discount on what he could earn through arbitration a year from now.

A motivational factor for conversations was the possibility Martinez had this winter to play in Japan and earn significantly more than he would in the big ones. The Cardinals approached to sell the rights to Martinez to a Japanese law to make it happen. Instead, the Cardinals examined the possibility of an agreement that would increase Martinez’s profit for 2019.

Martinez was one of Cardinal’s offensive leaders a year ago with a .305 average and a .821 OPS to go with 17 homers and 83 RBIs. This season, he will be the Cardinals’ chief pinch hitter and fourth challenger, ready to spell either the starters in the corner utfield positions. His bat makes him a valuable part of the Cardinals’ depth if Marcell Ozuna or Dexter Fowler fights during the spring training or Ozuna’s health keeps him from regular playing time in the left field.

The contract arose from talks between Cardinals and Martinez’s agent Alan Nero. The cardinals continue to talk to Nero, as his agency also represents Miles Mikolas.

The cardinal is open day starter can be a free agent at the end of the season and both sides have expressed interest in completing an extension at some point this season. General Michael Girsch called an extension with Mikola’s “certainly an opportunity” this spring. Discussions have taken place during the offseason.

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