While it is not surprising that the St. Louis Cardinals settled with all four of their arbitration eligible players on one-year contracts on Friday, it is still good news. This way, the uncertainty over their salaries for 2016 is resolved and all can move on in preparation for spring training.
The four players are first baseman Matt Adams, outfielder/first baseman Brandon Moss and relief pitchers Seth Maness and Trevor Rosenthal. Adams, Maness and Rosenthal were first-time eligible while Moss is in his third and final year before becoming free agent eligible. This is important because arbitration years’ salaries escalate based on service time.
Through his agent Scott Boras, Rosenthal and the Cardinals settled on a $5.6 million amount for the closer’s 2016 salary. “Huge number for a first-year-eligible guy,” tweeted Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, yet it is a reflection on the value of the closer.
Moss, the penciled in starter at first base, agreed for $8.25 million, according to reporter Jon Heyman.
The amount to be earned by the other first base combatant, Adams, is $1.65 million, also per Heyman.
Maness’ 2016 salary is reportedly $1.4 million.
Here is a bit of background on the process.
On Tuesday of this week, players with just under three and less than six years of Major League service time without contracts for 2016 were required to file with Major League Baseball for salary arbitration, a necessary formality.
By this Friday (today), each side, player and team, were required to exchange and submit their proposed salary for the player for 2016. As the size of the gulf between the two sides’ set positions become known, negotiations on one-year deals or longer extensions, which can occur any time throughout the process, often intensify.
Most cases result in agreements, some quickly and some later on, but not too much later. Arbitration hearings to settle on a one-year amount would take place in February if the two sides cannot find a compromise.
Last year’s eligible class included five Cardinals: Jon Jay, Tony Cruz, Peter Bourjos, Lance Lynn and then newly-acquired Jordan Walden. Before the deadline, Walden came to terms on a two-year deal and Lynn received a three-year commitment. Both are now injured, however. Now all former Cardinals, Jay, Cruz and Bourjos each signed one-year deals covering 2015.
For the Cardinals, a hearing has not been necessary since 1999 with the streak now extended for another year.
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