2011 Contract Issues: St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have a pair of contract options due after the season:

  • Albert Pujols has a $16MM club option with a $5MM buyout.  This will easily be exercised, but the real story will be the progress of extension talks.
  • Lefty reliever Trever Miller has one of nine vesting options to follow this season.  His $2MM becomes guaranteed with 45 games in 2010, a plateau that has not been a problem anytime recently.  DL time due to a left arm or shoulder injury would cause this to become a club option.

The Cards will have four key free agents: Brad Penny, Dennys Reyes, Felipe Lopez, and Jason LaRue.  They're guaranteed a total of $11.45MM in 2010.

Raises to players under contract total $7.05MM, with Kyle Lohse, Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, Skip Schumaker, and Chris Carpenter getting bumps.

The arbitration group is light.  Kyle McClellan, Brendan Ryan, and Jaime Garcia are projected first-timers, while Ryan Ludwick is due for his third time.

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.

17 Responses to 2011 Contract Issues: St. Louis Cardinals Leave a Reply

  1. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    Assuming Ludwick picks it up from his current pace, I think a 2 year/$11.5MM deal with a club option would be a reasonable idea.

    The Cards will probably be able to part with their prospective free agents and survive just fine.

    As for Pujols….What a weird situation. The only guy in baseball making $14MM per and vastly, vastly, vastly underpaid. Perhaps the only person on earth. I wonder if he ever kicks himself for signing that original $100MM deal considering just how much he left on the table…he’s still very rich either way.

    I think they’ll do a 6 year/$150MM extension for Pujols if he gives them a hometown discount, or if not, 6 years/$180MM.

    • start_wearing_purple
      start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      For most players you can start a sentence with “assuming they pick it up from their current pace.” Personally I’ve always felt Ludwick’s 2008 numbers were much more of an aberration rather than a indication of his true abilities. The 2009, slightly above average, is probably more of his abilities. But if they can get him for less than $6M a year and it does not affect other future contracts, why not.

      As for Pujols… I think you’re smoking something if you think the discount starts at $25M and only 6 years. First of all I think there’s no deal without a 10 year commitment, or at least 8 with a very nice buyout or in other words the last deal of his career. Second, I doubt I’m the only one on this board to think $28M-$30M IS the discount. The fact is if Pujols hits the open market then the Red Sox will be the first team to offer a blank check, followed closely by the Mets, probably Cubs, probably Dodgers, even the yanks (just because they have Tex doesn’t mean their DH can’t be filled), and there will be others that will be willing to start a bidding war and give a record setting contract to retain the services of the best hitter of our time. No matter how much Pujols loves St Louis, part of it comes down to precedent. Do you think the players union would be happy if Pujols takes only 6 year/$150M? And before you say so what, you really need to think about what the purpose of a union is.

      • AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

        I was more looking at Ludwick’s current average than I was his power numbers, etc. The average, even a week into the season, can be indicative of what’s to come.

        As for Pujols; This is just my own personal feeling about the guy…I feel like he’s a constant threat to be injured or to rapidly decline. I don’t know what it is, I can’t put my finger on it, but I just feel like he’s a threat to rapidly decline in production at some point. Who knows when that would be and I might be totally off-base.

        Remember, he’s already taken a below-market contract, won a world series and they just got Matt Holliday for the long term at big bucks and he should theoretically provide protection. They’ve also got solid pitching, etc. Also, the league is talking more and more about parity in baseball, right? Pujols going to the Red Sox wouldn’t exactly be parity. As for those other teams you mentioned like the Mets and the Cubs…money isn’t everything to these guys. For some it is, but for most they care about winning, too. Pujols is going to make $25-30MM a year at the least, no matter where he goes. Therefore, it behooves him to choose a team that stands a real chance at contention every year. The Yankees are already stacked and will have enough trouble filling the DH position in coming years with aging stars like Jeter and A-Rod, let alone Posada, so they’re probably out of the question.

        I think the Dodgers would be the most likely landing spot for Pujols outside of St. Louis, though it would obviously behoove him to go to an AL team so that in his declining years he’ll still be able to mash at the DH spot. I guess in that regard the Red Sox would be the most likely landing spot for him. He might not go there for one reason, though; They’re notorious sticklers about injury clauses and complex structures for their contracts and he might not want to deal with that. Just a thought.

        • stl_cards16 5 years ago

          First off…He’s not leaving and 25mil is probably about right…He’s not going to make his autistic daughter pick up and move away from some of the best treatment places in the world, that he himself is resposible for. Even if he wants 30mil a year, you guys have to realize this is a business, and business wise he is worth more to the Cardinals than ANY OTHER TEAM. They would be taking a bigger hit in revenue if he left, than what it would cost to keep him around. Get it? he will be a Cardinal…wether that’s the best thing for the future of the Cards you can discuss….but he will be a Cardinal

          • alxn 5 years ago

            That doesn’t make any sense at all. You don’t think other teams will see the potential revenue in signing him? That is the sole reason any club would sign him to a massive deal like this. To say that the Cardinals are going to outbid anyone and everyone to keep him is ridiculous.

          • stl_cards16 5 years ago

            No, it’s not! He is worth more to the Cardinals than any other team. Yes other teams would see their revenue go up somewhat by signing him, but not as drastic as the Cards revenue would take a hit by letting him walk. No fan base is going to love Albert, buy HIS merchandise, like St. Louis does. You can argue I’m wrong on here all you want…but he will be a Cardinal. Another thing to remember is Albert is really smart, and he doesn’t care what his agent wants. If he gets 26-27/yr in St. Louis, it’s as good as 35/yr in New York or Boston.

          • alxn 5 years ago

            I think you are pretty foolish to believe all of that, but I guess we will see.

          • stl_cards16 5 years ago

            Yeah, I guess I might be, but as you said we will see. I’m sure your one that believes Holliday’s contract is going to keep them from bringing back Albert. Which to me is foolish….Bill Dewitt Jr. is a business man and he knows who is the most important man in town. He has become one of the richest people in America because he knows how to run a business and he wouldn’t make the mistake of letting Albert get away. It’s just too important to the team to keep him

          • revpauld 5 years ago

            I know this discussion took place weeks ago, but I just happened to find it while looking for something else. I just want to say, if you don’t think it costs less to live in St. Louis than it does to live in New York or Boston, you should move there for a while and check it out. I know that, when I moved from the Midwest (Iowa) to New York, I found a calculator online that said I needed to make 40% more in New York just to break even with what I was making before, based on the cost of living, housing, transportation, etc. Now, I don’t think Albert will have a problem living on either $25 million per year or $35 million per year or whatever he ends up getting, but I absolutely believe the buying power of $25 million in the Midwest is about the same as the buying power of $35 million in New York City.

  2. kremer 5 years ago

    Just wondering why Jamie is arb eligable….. he is only a rookie this year…isn’t he pre-arb? Just wondering if i am missing something (or does it have to do with the amount of time he has spent on the 40 man roster)…..Thanks!

    • Redbirds16 5 years ago

      Jaime got one start 2 years ago, a midseason call up emergency spot start kinda thing, starting his arb clock. He was sent down and 2 weeks later went under the knife for TJ surgery. So yea, it’s 2010 is his rookie season. Bad luck for both Jaime and the Cards really, but injuries are part of the game.

  3. kremer 5 years ago

    Just wondering why Jamie is arb eligable….he is a rookie and I though he was pre-arb….Am I missing something (or does it have to do with the amount of time spent on the 40 man roster). Thanks!

  4. The Cardinals will do what it takes to re-sign Pujols. You can’t let a player like that go.

  5. AmericanMovieFan 5 years ago

    And as I’ve indicated before, but maybe haven’t outright stated yet; Pujols clearly isn’t just about money. He know he’ll make bank no matter what. Knowing that and knowing how much the Cards have already spent to keep him (and I’m sort of counting Holliday’s deal in this equation) it’s more than likely he stays a Card for life.

  6. Triteon 5 years ago

    First, I’ll re-post my observation from yesterday (excerpt from a Joe Strauss/St. Louis P-D article:
    It was only last November that team president Bill DeWitt III reminded a Webster University gathering of the challenges posed by concentrating a high percentage of payroll in a select few players. The Cardinals hold to that belief but recognize the need to retain a high-profile roster, most notably Pujols.

    Today, 89 year-old Stan Musial will attend his 68th Cardinal’s home-opener (he missed 1945 due to his WWII service) and will once again meet privately with Pujols prior to the game. Pujols has always showed great respect and deference to Musial in particular, and St. Louis baseball history in general, and he fully understands what it means to be a Cardinal.

    Matt Holliday and Alex Rodriguez are baseball players; Albert Pujols and Derek Jeter are a Cardinal and Yankee respectively. I’ll say it again (and again, and again…): he’s not going anywhere.

  7. Garcia is credited with service time on the major league DL both at the end of the 2008 season and for much of 2009 (he was eventually optioned in August).

    Even so, that would leave him at about 1.050 — jumping to 2.050 if he stays up all this season, which won’t be enough for Super Two status. I believe the 1.147 listed by Cot’s has to be in error.

  8. Garcia was on the MLB roster last year while on the DL, accruing time on his arbitration clock but not toward his rookie status since he was not on the active roster. That’s the simplest explanation of the situation I believe. It has to do with being DL’ed for Tommy John surgery.

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