Carlos Martinez Valuable Asset for Cards
Heading into the 2017 season, St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher, Carlos Martinez, will have a new deal after agreeing to an extension officially earlier this morning. Martinez signed with St. Louis for five more seasons and will get a guaranteed $51 million dollars. The deal also includes two club options for 2022 and 2023.
The Cardinals are a team that is known for investing in homegrown talent and keeping as many of their players internally as possible. Martinez is a prime example of that and someone who deserves the extension that he just signed.
Martinez struggled a fair amount during his first two seasons at the big league level in 2013 and 2014, but really put together two nice back-to-back seasons in 2015 and last year. Over those four years all together, Martinez posted a 3.32 ERA in 492.2 IP with 466 strikeouts, while surrendering only 33 home runs and 178 walks.
Furthermore, during last season, Martinez ranked 4th in the entire MLB for groundball percentage, a stat that is very important for a team like St. Louis which sometimes struggles defensively. In addition, Martinez ranked eighth in the league last season with 245 ground outs.
Now that the Cardinals have Martinez locked down in their rotation for the next five seasons, there is more stability and clarity regarding how the rotation will look over that time.
Beyond Martinez, the team still has Adam Wainwright through the end of 2018, a returning Lance Lynn for another season after recovering from Tommy John, and household name, Michael Wacha, who is under control through 2019. In addition, Mike Leake is signed with the club through 2021 and there are several other youngsters coming up through the pipeline who look to make an immediate impact such as: Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver, and John Gant all of whom are under control through 2023.
As Martinez said today during his press conference, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina have served as a mentor to him and hopefully in a few years, the next crop of Cardinal youngsters can look up to Martinez for guidance. He will be especially helpful to Reyes, Weaver, and Gant as all three become everyday MLB pitchers and learn how to pitch at the big league level.
For now, the Cardinals have a solid piece in their rotation for the next five years and someone who can provide them with some valuable ground outs for a team that needs it defensively.