Settle Down, Cardinals Fans ~ Carlos Martinez Will Be "Locked In"

By Beth Chapman
Feb. 02, 2017

St. Cardinals young "Ace", Carlos Martinez reportedly headed to the arbitration hearings. Scheduled date, February 8, 2017. This is his first year of arbitration eligibility. 

Carlos Martinez, 25 year old, has been with the Cardinals four seasons. His debut was May 3, 2013
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Back during the Cardinals Warm-Up Meetings, a statement reported by Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post Dispatch (January 15, 2017) from General Manager John Mozeliak: "General manager John Mozeliak said Sunday at the Winter Warm-Up that the team will let Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez go to a hearing, and that the club has no intention on settling with the players before a hearing is held. Mozeliak made that clear."

An announcement should come today, Carlos Martinez and the Cardinals have come to an agreement. Yes, the Cardinals are set to ink a deal for five years at $51 MM. The news came yesterday, reported by Jon Heyman,  Just goes to show, baseball business is not necessarily set in stone.

Carlos Martinez, who comes from the Dominican Republic, made his debut with the Cardinals May 3, 2013. The firey young pitcher has kept the heat on the hill through his four career seasons; but, also, has found some maturity along the way. Since the loss of his friend and teammate, Oscar Taveras, in October, 2014, there was a personal change in the young hurler. He began to settle down, learning to keep his temper under control along with his pitches. He began to truly concentrate on the business at hand - pitching, with his "Hoot" Gibson style of release and a great fastball. He is not at the Cy Young Award level yet. However, I feel he does have the potential to be. 

Photo: Getty Images

Even with that said, he is consist and solid on the mound. In his young career he has had 68 game starts, pitched 492.2 innings, held a 3.32 ERA/466 SO/1.291 WHIP. However, even shadowing Bob Gibson's style, he still has a ways to go to match Gibson's excellence. 

Martinez was among five Cardinals, P Michael Wacha (1- AE Hearing), P Kevin Siegrist (1 -1 Yr/1.64 MM), P Trevor Rosenthal (2 -1 Yr/6.4 MM) and 1B Matt Adams (2 - 1 Yr/2.8 MM), who were arbitration eligible. Wacha filed for $3.2 million. The Cardinals offered $2.8 million. (Goold) To date, no mention of the Cardinals and Wacha coming to terms. Cardinals have not been to a hearing since 1999. And, the arbitration board can not rule to the 'mean' figure. They have to decide - one party or the other. 

Cardinals fans presumed, even though Martinez's first AE year, he would be offered an extension soon into the off-season. Each day that passed, no news - just "talk" and "interest" was present. Now, Cardinals fans can settle knowing one of their great pitchers will be locked in to take him past his AE years and free agency extended to 2021. After all is said and done, I look for "options" to go along with. As mentioned before, we should have the complete contract deal exposed later today. In my guesstimate, years six and seven will be with team options. 

Will this help Martinez to have his comfort zone going forward? I hold confidence that it will. I also believe we have not seen his best performances yet. I look for him to be #2 in our rotation moving up from the five spot. 

Once the news is official, I do know - Cardinals fans will definitely be more at ease.