Winter Warm-Up just ahead
The 21st annual Winter Warm-Up will run from this Saturday, January 14 through Monday, January 16 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.
More than 60 current and former players and coaches are set to attend. Autographs of the over 60 participants range from free to a high of $150 per autograph. The highest priced autographs include $150 for Yadier Molina, $100 for former Cardinal star Orlando Cepeda and $75 for current Cardinals Matt Carpenter, Stephen Piscotty, Carlos Martinez, Aledmys Diaz, Adam Wainwright, and new Cardinal Dexter Fowler. Former Cardinal Managers Tony La Russa , Red Schoendienst, and Whitey Herzog will be signing at the rate of $75, while current Manager Mike Matheny’s signature will go for the bargain price of $25.
Those signing for free include former Cardinals Kyle McClellan, Alan Benes, Danny Cox, and others, as well as former players and now broadcasters Ricky Horton and Al Hrabosky. Also available for free are current hitting coach John Mabry, and new addition to the minor league coaching staff Stubby Clapp. Former player and current Scouting Director Randy Flores will also be signing for free, as will team Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and President Bill DeWitt III.
Pre-signed baseballs from Jonathan Broxton, Ozzie Smith, and Bob Gibson will be available at the Cardinals Team Store, as those individuals will not be attending the event.
Online tickets will continue to be sold through 11:59 p.m. on January 9. Any tickets not sold out will be available for purchase at the Warm-Up.
For more information, visit www.cardinals.com/winterwarmup .
Cardinals Caravan this weekend, too
The annual Cardinals Caravan is scheduled to begin this Friday, January 13. This is an annual event that coincides with the Winter Warm-Up.
The Caravan will cover 21 cities across six states within Cardinal Nation. Stops in Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois are set for Friday, January 13. Locations in Kentucky, Indiana, and Arkansas will also be included in the tour, which concludes with stops in Springfield and Effingham Illinois, Paducah, Kentucky, and Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Monday, January 16.
Each Caravan stop will contain 3-4 current major or minor league players, an emcee from local media, and 1-2 Cardinal alumni. The first 400 children age 15 and under through the door at each stop will receive one free autograph ticket for a player, current and former.
Current major league players taking part in the Caravans include Stephen Piscotty, Randal Grichuk, Kolten Wong, and Aledmys Diaz. Top prospects Alex Reyes, Carson Kelly, and Luke Weaver will also participate, as well as minor leaguers Harrison Bader and Paul DeJong.
For a full schedule of Caravan stops and participants, please visit www.cardinals.com/caravan.
Rookie Career Development Program
Over 100 players from across the game came together in Virginia this past weekend for the MLB Rookie Career Development Program. Run annually by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, the RCDP raises awareness about off-field issues and guide young players on the cusp of the majors on how to react in various situations.
Among the participants was Cardinals catcher Carson Kelly.
Arbitration Just Ahead
The month of January is the time for teams to focus on their arbitration eligible players. For the Cardinals, those players are Matt Adams, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, Trevor Rosenthal, and Kevin Siegrist. The deadline for eligible players to file for arbitration is January 10. The date for both sides to exchange salary numbers is January 13. Those numbers need to be filed by noon CT on that day. More often than not, agreements are reached between the players and the team to avoid a hearing. In the event a hearing becomes necessary, those hearings will take place between January 30 and February 17 in Phoenix.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, these are estimates based on comparable cases, if the two sides settle on one-year deals:
Adams: $2.8 MM
Wacha: $3.2 MM
Martinez: $5.3 MM
Rosenthal: $6.3 MM
Siegrist: $1.9 MM
Seth Maness was also eligible to be among this group, but the Cardinals chose to not to make him a contract offer for 2017, turning him into a free agent. He has yet to find a new home.
Among this group, Martinez is most likely to negotiate a multi-year deal with St. Louis instead. For TCN members, Brian Walton recently estimated how such a deal might be structured in a way that could benefit both parties.
Unsigned Free Agents
As tracked on the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog, just one of 11 Cardinals free agent pitchers have signed for 2017. Reliever Jordan Walden accepted a minor league deal with Atlanta. Other MLB and MiLB pitching free agents include Maness, Jerome Williams, Jeremy Hefner, Deck McGuire, J.C. Sulbaran, Justin Wright, Tyler Waldron, Silfredo Garcia, Gerwuins Velazco and Jonathan Escudero.
Four of eight free agent position players have signed, led by Matt Holliday with the Yankees. Those signing minor league deals are catcher Michael Ohlman (Toronto), first baseman Efren Navarro (Detroit) and first baseman-outfielder David Washington (Baltimore). Still unsigned are catcher Brayan Pena, 1B/OF Brandon Moss, first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez and outfielder Jose Fernandez.
Non-Roster Invitees Coming
While 40-man roster players are by definition invited to MLB spring training camp, a number of minor leaguers are also included, ones not yet placed on the roster. Several players who signed minor league contracts this winter were invited as part of their signing, with others already in the system to be announced this month.
Among the minor league signees already invited to big-league camp are catchers Eric Fryer and Gabriel Lino, pitchers Kendry Flores, Zach Phillips and Logan Schafer, first baseman-outfielder Chad Huffman, shortstop Wilfredo Tovar and outfielder Todd Cunningham.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
There are no transactions to report.
There is no injury news to report.
The next Cardinals event is the annual Winter Warm-Up, scheduled for January 14-16, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency at the Arch. Warm-Up passes are on sale now, and can be purchased here. Autograph tickets also went on sale on January 4. The annual Cardinals Caravan will begin during the same weekend as the Winter Warm-Up. The schedule for the Caravans can be found here.
Spring Training begins in mid-February, with pitchers and catchers scheduled to report on February 14, and position players on February 17. The first spring training game is scheduled for February 25 against the Miami Marlins. The full Spring Training schedule can be found here.
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