OCTOBER 4: It’s an $11MM guarantee, the Associated Press reports. Gallegos receives a $500K signing bonus, followed by successive salaries of $4.5MM and $5.5MM for his final seasons of arbitration eligibility. There’s a $500K buyout on the 2025 option, which has a base value of $6.5MM. The option price can escalate by as much as $3.5MM depending on his games finished tally during the 2024 campaign. It’d increase $500K apiece at 20, 26 and 31 games finished and would add an extra $1MM at each of 36 and 41 games.
OCTOBER 3: The Cardinals announced that they have signed right-hander Giovanny Gallegos to a two-year extension with a club option for 2025. Gallegos had two years of arbitration eligibility remaining, with this deal buying out those years and potentially one free agent year as well.
Gallegos, 31, came over to St. Louis alongside Chasen Shreve in the July 2018 trade that sent Luke Voit to the Yankees. He got a very brief stint with the Cards in the months after that trade, throwing 1 1/3 innings over two appearances. But in the four seasons since then, he has established himself as a mainstay of the club’s relief corps.
From 2019 to 2021, he made 155 appearances and threw 169 1/3 innings. In that time, he registered a 2.76 ERA with excellent strikeout and walk rates of 32.4% and 6.2%, respectively. He earned his way into high leverage situations in that time, notching 19 saves and 44 holds in that period.
He reached arbitration for the first time after last season, with he and the club agreeing to a $2.41MM salary for 2022. Since signing that deal, he’s been putting up very similar results to what he had done in the previous three campaigns. He has a 2.91 ERA in 58 2/3 innings with a 31.2% strikeout rate and 6.5% walk rate, earning another 14 saves and another 12 holds.
Based on his fourth straight season of strong performance, Gallegos would have been due an arbitration raise for 2023 and likely another for 2024, as long as he stayed healthy. Of course, with a pitcher, the health factor could always change the calculus in a hurry. Instead, Gallegos will have the security of knowing his earnings for the next two seasons are locked in. For giving Gallegos that guarantee, the Cards will have the ability to secure his services for an extra season.
“So excited,” Gallegos tells Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I feel so happy. I don’t have the word exactly for how I’m feeling. Right now, I’ve got an extension with the team. My confidence is 100%, 200%.” Goold also spoke to John Mozeliak, the club’s president of baseball operations. “He really wanted to stay and be a part of the St. Louis Cardinals moving forward,” Mozeliak says. “I think it really was a win-win for both parties. This gives him a little peace of mind as well.”