ST. LOUIS (KFVS) - The St. Louis Cardinals announced Thursday that they have signed All-Star pitcher Carlos Martinez to a five-year contract (2017-21) that also includes club options for 2022 and 2023.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. With the signing, the team and Martinez avoid salary arbitration.
"Carlos has demonstrated that he is ready to take his position among the game's top pitchers for many years to come, and we are pleased to announce that he will be anchoring our starting rotation into the foreseeable future," stated Cardinals Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak.
Martinez, 25, paced the Cardinals pitching staff in wins (16) and strikeouts (174) last season while making a career-high 31 starts with 195.1 innings pitched. The hard-throwing right-hander, a National League All-Star in 2015, has delivered 30 wins over the past two seasons (2015-16), ranking 5th among Senior Circuit pitchers.
Martinez' .618 (34-21) career winning pct. ranks 3rd all-time (min. 50 decisions) among Cardinals pitchers age 25 years or younger, trailing only Howie Pollet (.661) and Dizzy Dean (.651).
The Dominican native, who was signed by the Cardinals as a non-drafted free-agent in April of 2010, ranked among N.L. leaders in wins (5th), ERA (3.04, 9th), innings pitched (10th), quality starts (20, 6th) and opponent's batting average (.233, 12th) in 2016.
Against right-handed batters, Martinez limited the opposition to a league-low .269 slugging mark and a .207 batting average, historical marks in Cardinals single-season history. He allowed a total of just 15 home runs last season (only four against righties) and ranked 4th among N.L. pitchers in HR/9 IP ratio (0.69).
Martinez induced 33 double plays in 2016, ranking 2nd in the majors, while finishing one shy of John Denny's club single-season record (34 in 1978). In the field, he led Major League pitchers with 25 putouts and at the plate he had a career-high 14 hits (5th among MLB pitchers) and ranked 4th in pitcher's batting (.237).
The flamboyant Martinez, popular among Cardinals fans both in the States and in his native Dominican Republic, has developed a strong bond with Cardinals Nation through his Tsunami Waves charitable foundation by giving back to those in need both in St. Louis and his home of Puerto Plata.