The top stories of the week on MLBTR…
Cardinals punished for Astros data breach scandal: Major League Baseball’s investigation into former Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa’s breach of the Astros’ proprietary database came to a conclusion this week. The Cardinals will have to send $2MM and their top two picks in this summer’s draft (the 56th and 75th overall selections) to the Astros as compensation.
The relief market opens up: A plethora of notable bullpen arms signed contracts this week, bringing some clarity to a crowded relief market. The Mets brought back two familiar faces in Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas, the Blue Jays addressed their need for left-handed relief help by signing J.P. Howell and the Indians made another significant free agent expenditure by signing Boone Logan to a contract that will pay the southpaw at least $6.5MM. Sergio Romo may also be close to a deal with the Dodgers or another mystery suitor, though Romo’s status is still unclear.
Cardinals extend Carlos Martinez: In more pleasant news for St. Louis this week, the Cards locked up their impressive young right-hander to a five-year, $51MM extension. The deal also contains a $17MM club option for 2022 and an $18MM club option for 2023, so Martinez could end up earning $86MM over the next seven seasons. Martinez could be giving away as many as four free agent years with the extension, though he gains financial security now and can still hit the open market prior to his age-32 season.
Royals sign Brandon Moss: The Royals added a veteran bat to replace Kendrys Morales, signing Moss to a two-year, $12MM deal (which includes a $10MM mutual option for 2019). Moss will likely get most of his at-bats filling Morales’ old DH role, though he brings much more versatility as a defensive backup, capable of filling in at first base and both corner outfield spots.
Twins designate Byung Ho Park for assignment: Just a year after signing the Korean first baseman to a four-year, $12MM deal, the Twins sent Park into DFA limbo. While he is expected to clear waivers and remain with the club in Triple-A, the move still has to be seen as something of a disappointment for the rebuilding Twins, who also paid a $12.85MM posting fee to gain negotiating rights with Park last winter. Park’s first year of North American baseball saw him battle a wrist injury while hitting .191/.275/.409 with 12 homers over 244 plate appearances.