Arbitration Eligibles: St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals are next in our 2013 Arbitration Eligibles series.  Matt Swartz's salary projections are below.

With Motte, Mujica, Boggs, Rzepczynski, and McClellan, the majority of the Cardinals' arbitration cases are relievers.  In his first full year as the Cardinals' closer, Motte racked up an impressive 42 saves with strong peripheral numbers.  The 30-year-old is under team control through 2014, and the Cardinals could reduce the cost and add a free agent year or two with an extension.  The three-year, $20MM extension signed by Carlos Marmol after the 2010 season could be a model.

Mujica came to the Cardinals at the trade deadline and allowed just three runs in 26 1/3 regular season innings.  With 30 holds this year, he's in line for a handsome raise.  Boggs posted 34 holds, and will top $1MM as a first-timer.  Rzepczynski slipped this year, but figures to be retained affordably.  McClellan spent most of the year on the disabled list, requiring shoulder surgery in July.  Earlier this month,'s Jenifer Langosch wrote that McClellan will throw for the entire month of November, which will give the Cardinals a chance to evaluate him before deciding whether to tender a contract.  Langosch expects McClellan to be non-tendered, but with the door open for a new contract.

Freese, 29, made the All-Star team this year and ultimately posted career highs in games played (144 in the regular season) and thus all relevant counting stats.  Last year's postseason heroics won't hurt at the arbitration table, either.  Is it too early to consider extending Freese, a Wildwood, Missouri native?  Freese's injuries this year were numerous but minor, though you hate to see any kind of ankle concerns still cropping up.  I think the Cards would be best-served to let 2013 play out before seriously talking extension.

Assuming everyone is tendered a contract aside from McClellan, the Cardinals are looking at a projected $12.7MM for five arbitration eligible players.

Matt Swartz's arbitration projections are available exclusively at MLB Trade Rumors.  To read more about his projection model, check out this series of posts.

Leave a Reply

7 Comments on "Arbitration Eligibles: St. Louis Cardinals"

2 years 10 months ago

If the Cardinals can’t cover that $12.7 million, they are doing something wrong.

They draw over 3 million fans every year, their owner is richer than about 99.9% of Americans. They very well might have limits on what they want to spend on payroll, but it’s a decision to do that-not a necessity. Their owner is in a position to spend whatever he wants.

2 years 10 months ago

Who said they can’t afford it?

2 years 10 months ago

Isn’t every owner richer than 99.9% of Americans?

2 years 10 months ago

Yea, what are you talking about? Where did you get the idea that they cant cover the Arb guys? That money is essentially Lohse’s contract coming off the books.

There is no reason to bring McClellan back, he was sub-par to start with the past few seasons, and Mujuca is a better version of K-Mac. Giving Freese any sort of contract other than Arb would be a bad move. With his LONG injury history and him already turning 30 to start the year they just need to ride out his Arbitration years and then re-evaluate after 2015 (when he will be turning 33). I dont believe in giving Relievers big multi year deals, especially a guy who only has 1.5 pitches. He was talked about being replaced mid year by a decent amount in St Louis, thats not a guy who I want to give 3 years & $20mil+ this year.

Now if they could get extensions with Jay & Craig going, I’d be all for that. Especially Allen Craig. Professional Hitter.

2 years 10 months ago

I do not see an extension for Jay. The organization seems high on Tavares as the cf of the future. I am a Jay fan myself but if Tavares is as good as advertised we might see him in CF next year even.

2 years 10 months ago

David Freese totally deserve to have his contract extend to lock him up for number of years, since he’s a very humble Wildwood native who’s playing for his favorite team. I’ll pray for him to be 100% healthier for his entire career than the minor injuries that he had from this past season. The Cardinals should give him the right amount of money for his infield position and don’t overpaid the other players in this team, either.

Kendall Adkins
2 years 10 months ago

Time for my 2nd Annual Start of the Off Season Roster Prediction for Next Year (Currently accepting ideas for a more catchy title)


2. Yadier Molina
3. Allen Craig
4. Matt Carpenter
5. David Freese
6. Raphael Furcal
7. Matt Holliday
8. Jon Jay
9. Carlos Beltran


Adam Wainwright
Chris Carpenter
Lance Lynn
Shelby Miller
Jake Westbrook


Jason Motte
Mitchell Boggs
Edward Mujica
Trevor Rosenthal
Joe Kelly
Jaime Garcia
Jeremy Affeldt


Tony Cruz
Skip Schumaker
Scott Hairston
Daniel Descalso

Pete Kozma

The team would be better with Adams, Wong, and Taveras on the bench, bet it will be better long term for them to develop in Memphis. And they are obviously there for depth if Craig or Beltran get hurt.

I think there is a real chance Garcia gets moved to the pen.We have a lot of options for the rotation that are arguably better than him, and we need a lefty (or 2) and we are already paying him, so no extra money would need to be spent. (Talk about a run-on sentence)

Rzepczynski will probably be non tendered.

I’m also predicting at least 10 down votes because every Cardinals fan is a genius and knows exactly what the lineup will be. : )