Cardinals lock up Martinez for five years, $51 million

Carlos Martinez and the Cardinals reportedly agreed to a five-year, $51 million deal on Wednesday.

ST. LOUIS — At only 25, Carlos Martinez figures to lead the Cardinals’ rotation for many years to come.

Martinez and the Cardinals agreed to a five-year, $51 million deal Wednesday, as first reported by Jenifer Langosch of and confirmed Thursday morning by the team.

Martinez is coming off of a strong 2016 campaign. The right-hander finished the year with a 3.04 ERA over 195 1/3 innings, earning a 16-9 record.

With the deal, the Cardinals and Martinez avoid an arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

The Cardinals will have a bevy of options for their starting rotation this season. Martinez, Adam Wainwright, Mike Leake and Lance Lynn are locks. However, the Cardinals will have Alex Reyes, Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver and more to fill out the rotation.