The Cardinals have formally announced a new long-term pact with another key contributor: outfielder Stephen Piscotty has signed a six-year extension with an option for a seventh season.
Piscotty, who is represented by CAA Sports, will reportedly be guaranteed $33.5MM on the deal. That includes a $2MM signing bonus, salaries of $1MM in 2017-18, $7MM in 2019-20 and $7.25MM in 2021-22. There’s also a $1MM buyout on a $15MM option for the 2023 season. Furthermore, Piscotty will earn $500K if traded prior to the completion of the 2021 season and $1MM if he is traded thereafter. Performance escalators can boost the value of the option, giving him a chance to top out at $50.5MM over seven years.
The Piscotty contract marks the third notable extension since the end of the 2016 campaign for Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak and his staff. St. Louis has also extended burgeoning ace Carlos Martinez this winter, and franchise icon Yadier Molina wrapped up a three-year contract extension of his own over the weekend.
The 26-year-old Piscotty was the 36th overall selection in the 2012 draft and has blossomed from one of the Redbirds’ top prospects to their everyday right fielder over the past two seasons. In that time, Stanford product has established himself as a well-above-average bat, hitting a combined .282/.348/.467 with 29 home runs through his first 216 MLB games (905 plate appearances).
From a defensive standpoint, Piscotty has been four runs above average in right field per both Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating to this point in his young career. He’s also demonstrated a bit of versatility, logging 76 innings in center field and 57 at first base over his first two seasons. While he’s probably not going to see much time in center field moving forward — Dexter Fowler is signed to a five-year deal, and left fielder Randal Grichuk would probably slide over in the event of a Fowler injury — the ability to occasionally spot Piscotty there or at first base certainly carries a bit of value for the Cards.
Piscotty has just one year, 76 days of Major League service time, meaning he wouldn’t have been eligible for arbitration until the completion of the 2018 season and wouldn’t have been a free agent until the 2021-22 offseason. Piscotty falls shy of the current record for a player in the one-plus service class, which is held by Andrelton Simmons at seven years and $58MM (as can be seen in MLBTR’s Extension Tracker). Christian Yelich’s seven-year, $49.57MM pact is tops among all one-plus outfielders. Piscotty falls shy of both of those marks, though he’s also two to three years older than either of those players were when they inked their respective deals.
Today’s extension means that Piscotty can’t become a free agent until the completion of his age-31 season and, if he remains productive, that he likely won’t reach the open market until he is entering his age-33 campaign. That certainly limits his future earning power, though one can hardly fault a 26-year-old that is still five full years from reaching the open market and two years from reaching arbitration for electing to lock in his first eight-figure payday. Piscotty’s deal is the eighth-largest ever signed by a player with one-plus years of service, so while he didn’t establish any new sort of precedent, the deal falls within the range of reasonably plausible outcomes.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported that the two sides were progressing on a deal (Twitter link). FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweeted that the two sides had reached an agreement and also tweeted the guaranteed portion of the contract. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale first suggested the six-year term (Twitter link). FOX’s Ken Rosenthal provided the year-to-year breakdown (Twitter links).
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Locking down the core. Hopefully no more Allen Craig deals. Still skeptical about Wong.
If Wong is the only one they miss on try will be doing fine.
Even if he’s platoon player only by today’s standards he’s worth $5 mil a year. Everyone’s acting like we broke the bank for Wong and it’s a bust. Low risk contract for him. Cards are locking down our core and setting up to make moves as needed to fill in gaps. That’s why we are never rebuilding, only transitioning. Never tank, never give up on any season, always put out best team out there. Makes it easy to be cards fan
Exactly but I’m sure jealous hatters will be showing up soon. That’s a awesome deal for a very productive position. I know one organization that pays 177 million for about the same time period and might hit .230 if he has a good year.
I hate hatters.
putting the best team out there is hard for matheny to do. i like him, but he sure does some bonehead moves during games.
I’m assuming that’s a Heyward reference? If so just remember Cards were bidders for his services. I think everyone can see how lucky they are in the way it all worked out
Totally agree. He tried very hard to lose first game of season. Why is Martinez batting in 6th with bases loaded and 1 out in a 1-0 game? Why bring OH in 8th with no one warming up for 9th?
I believe you mean mad hatters.
No he is a very good manager winning more games since he took over in 2012 then any other manager in baseball.
That’s great if you ignore that the team he inherited just won the WS and he has a top 5 GM running the organization.
Not a Matheny fan, and saying he has the most wins is pretty disegenouis.
Because he was very effective and had a very low pitch count for you beginner arm chair managers out there.
if he was a better manager, the cardinals would have even more wins. his bonehead managing costs at least 5 wins a year.
Not a bad move by the Cards at all. They always have a full minor league system and seem to be able to trade the guys they extend for more pieces as needed. Finally, the Pirates are on the cusp of the same business model. They have filled up the minor league system and signed many of their core players to extensions. They will be able to trade the ones they can’t sign and trade away ones who are getting to the middle or end of the their extensions to fill in gaps as you said. Funny thing is, many of the average fans listen to the talking heads in Pittsburgh who want the Pirates to do what they always did. Trade away all of the prospects for older vets “to win now” That business model lead to 20 years of losing baseball. Glad the Pirates are doing now what the Cards have done for years.
Looser Hatters?? Maroons??
Not really if you understand the game at all.
Not as bad as your boneheaded comments.
Just the facts ma’am
And has a World Series ring
They had just won the World Series, and also had just lost the best player on that team to free agency. Not a very good argument.
The way Martinez was dealing, leaving him in there was the smart move, and it paid off. As for Oh, it’s common strategy to sink or swim with your closer in the 9th.
Oh should have pitched high leverage 8th, which he did and then someone else warming up for the 9th. Alternatively Cecil, siegrist, bowman for 8th then oh in .9th. Leaving your best reliever in for 39 pitches to blow save and lose his confidence on opening day is dumb when you have every reliever available
Even the worst reasonably expected case scenario with Wong isn’t as bad as the deal they gave to Jaime Garcia, not to mention they were darn lucky to stick the Red Sox with Allen Craig, even luckier for getting a year plus of Lackey and a comp pick when Lackey left in return.
Allen Craig was a bust but that’s on Red Sox. He got us year and a half of minimum wage lackey. Still worked out fine for us.
They might as well extend Diaz while they are at it.. this kid is going to have a huge season and a bright future!
I love the potential this kid has, very happy to see this extension
Brilliant move. 6 years at 5-6 million a year is value of bench player especially by end of contract. But yet if he continues to excel and mature, they could be paying an all star $6 million a year. Also are tendency to lock up young players early, continues the culture that if you do well as a young cardinal and fit into the “cardinal way” you will be rewarded. That is encouraging and motivating to future prospects. Good offseason, cardinals. (Even though seasons started). CF, check. Improve defense, check. Find lead off hitter, check. Improve on base percentage, check. Improve pitching staff, check. Sign yadi, Carlos, and piscotty check, check, check.
Good manager, check… Oops !
Yep we finally agree on something!
Yes very good manager. Can you name me a manager with more wins since 2012 when he took over?
Wins are an irrelevant statistic when it comes to how “good” a manager is.
Tell that to every manager when he’s fired.
How do you figure? That’s his job to win the most games!
his goal is winning the world series. wild cards have made the series.
Nope, but can you name a team with more total blown saves during that same time period you are talking about?? Answer….. Nope!
$5-6MM may be the price of a bench player, but you’re also comparing open-market prices to Piscotty’s pre-arbitration and arbitration seasons. Realistically, he wouldn’t have earned $5-6MM until the 2020 season; he’d have earned about a total of $5-6MM in the three years between now and that time.
I’m not knocking the deal — it seems fine, and they did fairly well to keep it on the lower end of the one-plus range of outcomes — but you’re kind of comparing apples to oranges here.
Half true. you’re right that you shouldnt compare to market prices, but Khris Davis got 5M in arb 1 and had a lower fWAR and bWAR last season than piscotty. Salaries will escalate and we’re talking mid 5’s as a possible start for arb 1 in 2019.
So he’ll get an extra 1 mil over the next 2 years combined. probably a 1.5-2.5 or so in year 3, an then the cards will be getting great value for the following 3 years (particularly year 6). And possible a great value in year 7.
WAR has no bearing in an arb hearing. Davis got $5M for hitting 42 homers, knocking in 100+ runs in his platform season and carrying 102 career homers into his first year of arbitration. Piscotty, barring some hugely unforeseen power surge, won’t come near those numbers.
yeah, that’s not true. You think an agent would not argue their case based on this information? I think you vastly underestimate the ability of agents to make their case.
It might not have as much bearing as it should, but piscotty’s agent would definitely use that and be in the same ballpark.
Yes, but don’t forget that he’s only going to make $7.25M in what would’ve been his first free agent season.
I see him adding more power as he ages.
He’s a very special player. Love the extension, though I thought we were a year away from it still.
That’s a nice contract.
Memo from: Bill DeWitt Jr
To: John Mozeliak
I’ll let you keep extending these guys so the turn$tile$ keep flowing. This should keep those SOBs I mean BFIBs paying us big time. Molina had us over a barrel, but let’s make it look like we all won.
Also, the more extensions we hand out, the more you’re bound to get some of them right. Still regret extending that Wing kid. Keep trying to unload him for something that looks like value.
p.s. Don’t let us get caught tampering again.
(All in good fun !)
They extended the kid who makes their the chicken wings..smart business acumen!
*their chicken wings*
I don’t see what is not to like about this deal. They just locked up an All-Star caliber player for minimum cost. I’m not an expert on how arbitration works but I’m hoping they end up having to pay him more because he is outplaying the dollars. Sounds like a win win.
This is more of a bargain than most my realize on the surface for the Cards.
They received his arbitration years for 18.5M. Which is he just produced 90% of his 2016 season through arb he would do more than 30M.
And they get his first year of free agency (when he’s only 30) for $7.25M, and then have an option year on the second for 15 with a 1M buyout. So basically a 1/8.25 or 2/22.25.
That’s really cheap for those years if Piscotty is even a 2 WAR player per year.