ST. LOUIS—Carlos Martinez has a long and intricate history in professional baseball, and at 25, many things have happened in a short amount of time. On Feb. 2, the right-handed pitcher signed a 5-year agreement with the Cardinals, guaranteeing $51 million.
At 18, Martinez signed with the Boston Red Sox in 2010. However, Major League Baseball voided his contract due to the name on the contract being Carlos Matias. The League could not verify his identity or age, therefore suspending him for a year.
St. Louis, spotting him during his suspension, coordinated an effort to find proof of identification and other information MLB would need. Going as far as sifting through boxes of paperwork and requesting the death certificate of his mother, which validated his name change, the Cardinals constructed a 40-page binder which was presented to the U.S. Consulate and MLB.
With his current deal, a record-setting salary for a first-year arbitration player, Martinez said he felt a financial security his family has never known.