The Cardinals have given clear signals of a coming payroll reduction, but the extent of the paring remains to be seen. Team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. discussed the matter further with Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
DeWitt characterized the Cards’ player salary situation as “fluid,” adding that there’s still quite a lot of “uncertainty” pervading the sport. A major component of that, of course, is a still-muddled public health outlook for 2021. Even if more was known about the course of COVID-19, there’d still be a broader grey area in the player market on the heels of an unprecedented, shortened season.
It seems certain that the Cardinals and their rivals will have a much better idea what to expect of the 2021 season in a few months time. As DeWitt notes: “The good news is that we have a number of months to go here.” Perhaps a slow-moving market won’t portend financial devastation for the player’s side, so much as reflect a mutual need to wait and see.
As Goold explains, the St. Louis organization is especially reliant upon live attendance to support its usually robust revenue. With a wider band of potential revenue projections, it seems the Cards’ ultimate budget for player salaries could yet move up or down by a significant amount depending upon which direction the winds blow.
DeWitt did make clear he intends to field a “competitive” roster, even if the team did kick off its offseason by declining a club option over solid second baseman Kolten Wong. That call, DeWitt says, was designed primarily to create “flexibility” entering a murky winter.