Carlos Martinez recently underwent a “small procedure” on his bothersome right shoulder, Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said during a radio interview on KMOX 1120 AM Sunday (hat tip to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). The treatment involved a platelet-rich plasma injection. Martinez isn’t expected to miss any significant time, as Mozeliak said the right-hander “should have a pretty normal offseason” and is expected to ready for the start of the Cards’ Spring Training camp in February.
Shoulder issues have plagued Martinez in each of the last two seasons, which is why St. Louis shifted him into the bullpen in 2018 and used him exclusively as a reliever in 2019. After making his season debut in May, Martinez posted a 3.17 ERA, 9.9 K/9, and 2.94 K/BB rate over 48 1/3 innings, and also ended up accumulating 24 saves as the Cards’ closer once Jordan Hicks had to undergo Tommy John surgery in June.
Despite this success, Martinez has long stated his preference to work as a starting pitcher, the Cardinals left the door open to a return to the rotation in 2020. Last week’s shoulder procedure was intended to correct the soreness that arose whenever Martinez began to pitch deeper into games, though after over a year away from the rotation, it remains to be seen if Martinez will be able to return to his old form as a starter. “In terms of what we want to see happen with Carlos this upcoming year, I think there are going to be many factors that way into that, and him being one of them,” Mozeliak said. “What he decides he thinks is best for him when you look at his career path and where he is physically.”
It wasn’t long ago that Martinez was seen as one of baseball’s top young arms, as he posted a 3.24 ERA, 2.82 K/BB rate, and 8.9 K/9 from 2015-17, averaging 193 innings per season. This led to a contract extension in the 2016-17 offseason that guaranteed Martinez $51.5MM over a five-year stretch, and Martinez is still owed $23.5MM on that deal. He’ll earn $11.5MM in 2020 and 2021, before the Cardinals can either exercise a $17MM club option for 2022 or buy it out for $500K, and there’s also an $18MM club option ($500K buyout) on Martinez’s services for 2023.
Those salaries become a veritable bargain if Martinez is able to return to the starting five and pitch as he did in 2015-17, and even if he remains as a reliever, $11.5MM per season isn’t an untoward amount for a bullpen arm who pitches as well as Martinez did in 2019.
Jack Flaherty, Miles Mikolas, and Dakota Hudson have three spaces in the Cardinals’ rotation spoken for next season, though getting Martinez back would go a long way towards helping the team fill the final two spots. Austin Gomber, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Genesis Cabrera, and Alex Reyes are all on the short list to compete for starting jobs, though one rotation space could be taken if veteran stalwart Adam Wainwright were to re-sign for another year in St. Louis. If Martinez does return to starting, however, it leaves a vacancy for the Cards to address at closer, since Hicks is slated to miss most or potentially all of the 2020 season.
and unload Chris Sales contract to help get under luxury tax
I understand Sale is still a quality pitcher but he’s coming off a down year and Boston seems determined to shed salary. Sending out Carpenter would also help make Sale’s contract more palatable for the cards
Only way that deal happens is if an intern sneaks into the vacant GMs office & answers the STL call. Would be an update to Rookie of the Year meets Moneyball. I see Thomas Mann as the lead with his best friend being the weird kid from Stranger Things/FiOS commercials.
Really who play 3b then????
I think Betts will be a Cub next year
Schwarber, Russell and minor leaguer for Betts.
Seriously? I think you may have forgotten the /s at the end of your post.
I don’t think any of those are realistic lol.
Those trades dont seem very realistic. That Cubs offer is straight up laughable. Schwarber and russell suck.
No frickin’ way the Cards trade Tommy Edman straight up for Betts.
So you want the Sawx to take 3 of the Cards problems (Carpenter-Reyes-O’Neill), a utility player (Edman) and a low level prospect (Gorman) for a top 5 player (Betts) and a wild card (Sale) with a hefty contract?
I can see more why the Cards would be willing to do that, but the Red Sox would only have money as their motivation.
Please explain how O’Neil and Reyes are problems? Neither cost any money.
Also, Gorman is a top 100 prospect and the Cards #1 prospect. You make it seem like he’s nothing more than a toss in.
Categorizing Edman as a “utility guy” is sinful. He is a star in the making who happens to have the ability to play multiple positions. Obviously, you haven’t.seen him play on a regular basis.
Star in the making? Much like Harrison Bourjos?
Sometimes you are just plain stupid!
Do you have a comment as to why? The Cards promoted Bourjos Jr. all off season long. Now after 92 games, you have Edman as a star in the making, even though he was shut down big time by great pitching in the post season. But go ahead, call me stupid because of your pre mature comment. Then again, Bow Tie boy thought Mikolas was a star in the making too and threw $68M at him. Maybe Edman will get a multi year deal too after just 92 games?
Shut down? Haven’t you forgotten the two balls he smoked, one a would be triple by Eaton and a double by Zimmerman. All one can do is hit the ball hard. You should know this. I take that back, you probably don’t.
Yes, I just love counting those “coulda, woulda, shoulda” hits. Just imagine ALL THOSE HITS Carpenter would have if he didn’t continue to pull the ball into the shift.
I have a better trade that I’ll have on Monday.
Hopefully while they were in there operating, they removed the chip that made him salty at Acuña for being better than he is.
As a Cardinal fan, I can agree that Carlos has some issues but i’m sure it was less about ability and more about effort.
Then maybe Carlos should spend more effort not giving up home runs, at which point he could spend less time crying about the “effort” people put into their trot after they do.
He gave up 2 HR’s during the regular season.
Cool stat, not sure what that has to do with this. Unless you’re arguing that he was so un-used to giving up homers that seeing 2 in one inning made him snap? Whining about “respect” when someone gets the better of you doesn’t have anything to do with effort, it’s about being upset that you were embarrassed by someone who bested you.
Martinez is far from the only pitcher in baseball who will drill this knucklehead Acuna if he doesn’t learn some respect.
I’m sure there are Braves pitchers praying to see Carlos get in the batter’s box in 2020.
Says the braves fan, when carlos Gomez hit that hr while he was on the brewers I remember McCann taking offense to it. Brian mc. Actually tried blocking the plate so Gomez would not score. And I’m no cardinal fan but come on you can show boat but you dont like the opposition to do it? Acuña Is a great talent but he has plenty of maturing to go.
Why does anytime someone says something about the Cardinals they are automatically labeled a fan of that said team he is defending? Is that a Cardinal thing I don’t know about? By the way, are you saying a 20 year old needs to mature? Shocking!
@Juan G. Yes, 6 years ago – well before MLB launched the “let the kids play” campaign. Even so, I agree that it wasn’t ok when BMac did it and it’s not OK to see CMart doing it now. The attitude of “playing the game the right way” needs to die, for all teams and all players.
Define “playing the game the right way.”
@WAJGH, by that I’m referring to the unwritten rules like don’t watch a home run or don’t bat flip because it somehow shows up the pitcher. Celebrations are (and should be) a fun part of watching sports, and baseball seems to be the only one fighting the tide in that regard. It’s a game. Have some fun when you do something good.
I couldn’t agree more! Same with the NFL. They need to unwind their panties about celebrations
Yeah, Acuna sucks. He’s no Harrison Bourjos.
Mozeliak’s famous last words after every player surgery. “Should be back to normal…”
Again,as you referred to CFAP, the name Mozeliak. Mozeliak built the down years teams on high dollar players he signed that have busted. The man is illogical, and has no foresight. As for the young players who came up like Edman, Flahnery, Hudson, and Bader—- Michael Girsch formulated them as director of the minor leagues, not Mozeliak!!!! Mozeliak’s name is associated with every botched long term contract and every botched signings where the Cards are paying other team for those players to play in another organization. Is Mozeliak the person that should rebuild this team to be a prospective World Series contender??? I say NO!!! Mozeliak has shown his patterns toward benefiting the Cardinals for the future!! His grade is a big fat F !!! A grade of a D at best over the last 5 seasons!!!
Mozeliak is pulling all strings. That includes Girsch’s. He’s made one bad signing and trade after another. Goldschmidt trade was ok, but even Goldschmidt is on the downside of his career. Dewitt blew it. He let Luhnow walk in favor of Gepetto. The Cards lucked into a division title because the Cubs were just not good this year. Something internally was going on there, and I don’t necessarily think it was Maddon as the problem. Anyway, this has allowed Mo another 5 year pass. Fans are just too blind to look at what is going on. However, the casual fan has moved on as seen by ratings on TV and ACTUAL butts in the seats. But Dewitt is making money, building his condos and bars. That’s all that matters, and while he lives in Cincy, he has his eyes and ears of Frontenac JoMo controlling Bernie, Randy, BT, Jimmy, Danny, Scotty, Stalts, Ronge, Ricky, and the fat man as they promote his daily memos on 101 ESPN. The sheeple tune in and drown in the drivel.
John Mozeliak should have been fired several years back. Through his arrogant attitude, he has tried to cover up and NEVER apologizing or claiming credit for his own bad decisions on signing long term, players at the end the road of their past great accomplishments. He has tried to bully his way through taking any responsibilities he’s botched. As a result, everyone around him has been fired. Everyone except the person who is actually responsible……. John Mozeliak himself!!!
LOL what’s he going to do? Have a press conference where he trashes his FA signings? Yeah, that’ll attract future FA’s here.
Your hate has consumed you so much that you aren’t making sense anymore. My goodness.
Bow tie Boy doesn’t need to have a press conference about anything. Most of us know he’s an overrated, pompous azz.
Seek professional help.
Who? Martinez? Yes, he needs it.
If JD opts out then mookie staying until trade deadline . If JD stays then a wild winter ahead.
Cardinals need him as a starter
The Cardinals need his talents as a starter, but not his messed up head!! Trade him to another environment.
I thing the Cards FO would love to move C. Martinez this offseason, but it’ll be selling low. Especially with this procedure now added in. The Cards are going to need to get another starter already this offseason. I think they’ll go shopping in the second tier of the free agency pool to fill out their rotation. They will still have Waino as a fall back option to fill out the rotation if needed, but as good as he was at home this season, he was equally that bad on the road. That said, the heart and nostalgia are poor reasons to re-sign someone when you are trying to win.
batty…..Heart and nostalgia is a poor reason to resign someone. I truly agree. Hopefully, Carpenter will follow the steps of Mark McGwire. Retire in the middle of his contract because he recognizes his talents are fading. McGwire said use his contracted money to help the team. If Carpenter really wanted to help the team in 2020 & 2021, he’d do the same as McGwire!!!!!
The fans, front office and media are Cre**ing in their pants for nostalgia. They so want to see Wainwright and Molina retire together so they can go into the Cards HOF together. It would be one big Cir*** je** in this town, with Sylvester Karraker and Lollipop Thompson leading the way.
Maybe Carlos needs to undergo a “small procedure” on his troublesome attitude and lack of focus
C Mart is here to stay… what about Jose Martinez? He can’t play defense… belongs in the AL. Surely he has some value?
I thought it was going to say CMart gets a minor procedure to fix his mental instability and ego. Bummer.