Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty may be headed for a contract renewal for the second straight offseason since he has yet to agree to his 2020 contract, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. The Cards use a strict formula for giving salary raises for pre-arbitration players and Flaherty didn’t agree to his deal last year, leaving $10K in salary on the table and forcing the Cards to renew his 2019 contract for $562.1K, just $7.1K over the league minimum salary. “Flaherty wanted his disagreement with the Cardinals’ valuation of his salary noted, and that was worth the $10,000 penalty,” Goold wrotes.
As per the Cardinals’ formula, Goold reports that Flaherty is now in line for a salary close to $605K for the 2020 season — a 7.3 percent increase over the minimum salary, which is a new record raise since St. Louis adopted its formula. Still, such a raise is still very small potatoes considering Flaherty’s great 2019 numbers, and also indicative of how little leverage pre-arbitration players have in earning any extra money for outstanding performance. Flaherty is in line for a big raise once he enters the arbitration process next winter, though (barring an extension) the real big money won’t come until he hits free agency following the 2023 season.
More from the NL Central…
- Luis Urias has already “been doing pretty much everything” in preparation to get back onto the field, the Brewers infielder told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy and other reporters, including full infield drills, taking batting practice from coaches, and tracking live pitches in the batter’s box. Urias had surgery on his left hamate bone at the end of January, so he is just shy of the short end of the projected six-to-eight week timeline for a return to action. The next step will come tomorrow, when Urias visits his hand surgeon and could potentially be cleared to start facing live pitching that same day. Manager Craig Counsell said Urias could potentially see some game action in roughly a week’s time, if all goes well. Acquired by the Padres in November, Urias will be competing with Orlando Arcia for the shortstop job once healthy, and it certainly seems like there’s a chance Urias will be able to avoid starting the season on the injured list.
- After a big offseason, Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams is being no less bold in his expectations for the 2020 season. “We are going to say World Series is our goal because now you look around the room and you see the talent is there and it’s just not fair to limit yourselves,” Williams told The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. (subscription required). “You can’t reach that goal if you don’t set it. It has been a few years since we have openly and brazenly said, ’The ring is within our reach’ and it’s up to us to go and get it. That’s only fair to these players. I wouldn’t put the goal of anything less in front of them because I think they can do it.” Williams welcomes the pressure of these extra expectations, noting that the team had been building towards being a contender by undergoing “a massive culture shift” that extends from the front office through both the major and minor league coaching ranks “getting everybody top to bottom feeling that this is a championship-level organization.” Spending over $164MM on free agent talent this winter was “terrifying, but…exciting,” Williams said, since the Reds had so much belief in their pre-existing core group of players that “it was the right time to spend. It makes it easier to make that decision to go out on a limb.“