When Mike Matheny was finally let go by the St. Louis Cardinals a large portion of the fan base rejoiced. Matheny, the subject of ridicule since his hire, has left Cardinal Nation with a gleaming light of hope at the end of the longest mediocrity tunnel this era has seen. Now that he is gone it is time for the Cardinals to look to the future, as they rebuild the culture and the team they have to figure out who they should take a long for the ride. Bill DeWitt and John Mozeliak have to look at this roster and figure out who they want to be a part of the next ERA of Cardinals baseball. Is Carlos Martinez a part of those plans?
Let’s look at the positives of Carlos Martinez. At the end of the 2018 season Carlos will be 27 years old, he will have a contract that is team friendly based on the price of quality starting pitchers. Earning just $11.5 Million per year over the next three seasons he will not hurt your budget. Carlos currently ranks 33rd in the league in starting pitcher salary per season behind guys like James Shields, Tyler Chatwood and our old St. Louis friends Lance Lynn and Mike Leake.
Carlos has been great for three straight seasons propelling himself to the top of the rotation accumulating 43 wins and averaging 30 starts per year during that span. He proudly represented the Cardinals in two All- Star games, 2015 and 2017. Despite some minor injuries Carlos has stayed healthy enough to keep his spot at the top of the rotation. While other such as Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright have broken down, Carlos seems to come back from injuries strong and capable. Outside of a handful of pitchers in the league he would be an ace on most staffs.
Now let’s look at the negatives. Carlos has been known to be an emotional player, during the stress of a playoff run and/or series he has been known to get a little flustered. The veteran presence of Yadier Molina has been able to hide some of those issues. Martinez can be wild at times his BB/9 has reached a career high so far in 2018 at 4.67.
While erratic at times Carlos will still find himself on the list of top potential targets of any team if made available. With the firing of Matheny, Cardinals management has made it clear that they are not afraid to shake things up. While moving Martinez may be looked at as giving up on the 2018 season, would he not bring back the most of any player on your current roster?
Imagine you are the Yankees, stacked with a loaded farm system and the Cardinals have made this great cost controlled pitcher available. How can you not offer up some of your top prospects to get him? As a Cardinals fan can you really be that upset if you move on from Carlos, when you have seen the strength of your developing pitchers.
Cardinals get: Gleyber Torres, Domingo German, Dermis Garcia
Yankees get: Carlos Martinez, Jedd Gyorko
While this is obviously hypothetical, I cannot see any way as an organization you cannot at least open up the negotiation. The Cardinals have been looking for a dynamic position player to take the reins of the team since the departure of Albert Pujols. Moving on from Carlos Martinez will have backlash, while he is great on the field he is also a charismatic personality that people are enthralled in seeing. The Cardinals will have a better idea of where they are right out of the All- Star break heading to Chicago for 5 games that can make or break your season. At that point, they have to decide whether Martinez is the future himself or is the key bringing in the future.