The Cardinals and right-hander Carlos Martinez have mutual interest in a contract extension and have had “initial discussions,” according to a major-league source. The sides are expected to resume talks later in the offseason, at which point they will likely come closer to agreement.
Martinez, 25, is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility and is under team control through the 2019 season. St. Louis will likely try to achieve cost certainty for the next three seasons while extending their control over Martinez, either by including team options for his first couple free-agent seasons or guaranteeing a salary for them.
Martinez has been excellent over the last two seasons for the Cards, posting a 16-9 record and 3.04 ERA in 31 starts last year after notching a 3.01 ERA mark in 2015. He is likely in line for a significant deal if the sides come to terms on an extension, though the exact parameters of discussions are not yet known.