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Jose Martinez, Cardinals Agree to Contract Extension Through 2020 MLB Season

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2019

St. Louis Cardinals' Jose Martinez gestures toward his dugout after hitting a single during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst)
Billy Hurst/Associated Press

The St. Louis Cardinals gained cost certainty over the next two seasons by agreeing to a deal with first baseman Jose Martinez

The Cardinals announced Saturday that Martinez signed a two-year extension through the 2020 season. 

Martinez has been one of Major League Baseball's most pleasant success stories over the past two seasons. He was originally signed by the Chicago White Sox as an international free agent in 2006. 

After spending 10 seasons in the minors, Martinez made his MLB debut in September 2016. He won a starting job for the Cardinals out of spring training the following season, hitting .309/.379/.518 with 14 home runs in 106 games. 

Martinez led the Cardinals with a .305 batting average and finished second with a .364 on-base percentage in a career-high 152 games last season. He's also been versatile, spending time at first base, right field and left field. 

Due to Martinez's extended stay in the minors, he won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season. His extension with the Cardinals gives him financial security in his pre-arbitration years. 

The Cardinals continue their excellent offseason after previously trading for Paul Goldschmidt to boost their lineup and signing Andrew Miller to upgrade their bullpen. They are trying to end a three-year playoff drought and build off last season's 88-74 record. 

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