Carlos Martinez (Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images)

Storylines: St. Louis Cardinals sign Carlos Martinez to an extension

The Cardinals made some positive news on Wednesday signing talented righty Carlos Martinez to a record deal. That plus all the news and notes from around the league...

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· After a tough week with the Chris Correa scandal punishment being handed out, the St. Louis Cardinals finally have some positive news as they have agreed to an extension with righty Carlos Martinez. The deal is for five-years, $51MM, and includes two additional option years. He was due to become a free agent in 2019, but he will remain in St. Louis for a few seasons longer. The deal eliminates the arbitration hearing that was scheduled for next Wednesday. It is also the largest contract in MLB history to a first-time arbitration-eligible player. The Cards believe that Martinez, Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha, who will likely have an arbitration hearing case since he’s the only player left unsigned-- are the core of the team. In 31 starts last season, the All-Star went 16-9 with a 3.04 ERA and 174 K. 

News and Notes

· According to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag, the Washington Nationals have signed veteran reliever Matt Albers and closer Joe Nathan to minor-league deals. They will both receive invites to Spring Training. They would earn $1.25MM salary if they make the club.

· Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Houston Astros will have arbitration hearings with Collin McHugh, Marwin Gonzalez and Will Harris in the middle of February.

· Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Timers reports that the Tampa Bay Rays have signed righty Cory Rasmus to a minor league deal. He’s the younger brother of outfielder Colby Rasmus.

· The Chicago Cubs have acquired righty Eddie Butler from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for minor league righty James Farris. The Cubs DFA’d righty Dylan Floro in order to make room. 

· Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reports that Oakland Athletics slugger Khris Davis has won his arbitration hearing against the club. He will earn $5MM instead of $4.65MM this season.

· Infielder Josh Bell will be undergoing left knee surgery to remove loose bodies for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He will be out two-to-four weeks. It could put his Opening Day chances in doubt.

· According to Jon Heyman, the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a minor-league deal with second baseman Johnny Giavotella.

· Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reports that the Colorado Rockies have agreed to a minor-league deal with infielder/outfielder Mark Reynolds. Details of the full deal are unknown, but it includes an invite to Spring Training.

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