The Type A, B and C rankings have no immediate on the situations of all the other players on the roster, since they are signed or can be tendered contracts for 2007.
But, a number of the youngsters, such as the pictured Yadier Molina will soon be arbitration-eligible and can use these rankings to their benefit in preparing to argue their case for more money.
The numbers can also be used by teams to help guide them as to when to consider buying out arbitration years of players who might otherwise milk them for more money in yearly arbitration cases later.
(Hint: Walt Jocketty, while you are busy with all those other weighty contract matters, don't wait too long to lock up the aforementioned Mr. Molina or you may pay substantially more later.)
For those reasons and more, I thought it would be illustrative to review the rankings of all Cardinals players within their position grouping in the National League, offered along with my comments about each.
|Designated hitters, first basemen and outfielders|
|1||Albert||Pujols||100||A||1st perfect score since '02|
|24t||Jim||Edmonds||72||A||Bad seasons for him look good here|
|29||Juan||Encarnacion||70.667||A||Like it or not, the guy has value|
|35/36||Line between Type A and B|
|42||Preston||Wilson||60.778||B||May be harder to re-sign as a result|
|52||Chris||Duncan||53.444||B||Can he match big debut campaign?|
|58/59||Line between Type B and C|
|63||So||Taguchi||48.333||C||Would he go to another team?|
|69/70||Line between Type C and no compensation|
|101||Larry||Bigbie||20.667||Will the Cards non-tender him?|
|NR||John||Rodriguez||Not on the radar yet, I guess|
|12||Yadier||Molina||65.934||A||Just made top group despite low BA|
|13/14||Line between Type A and B|
|20/21||Line between Type B and C|
|24/25||Line between Type C and no compensation|
|36||Gary||Bennett||23.626||Cards can go cheaper with another|
|Second basemen, third basemen and shortstops|
|7||David||Eckstein||82.011||A||Pretty amazing the Angels cut him|
|18||Ron||Belliard||71.645||A||May be too expensive to keep|
|25/26||Line between Type A and B|
|26t||Scott||Rolen||64.596||B||Two subpar years put him here|
|43/44||Line between Type B and C|
|52||Aaron||Miles||45.022||C||Last one in Type C - about right|
|53/52||Line between Type C and no compensation|
|74||Jose||Vizcaino||23.28||Was just a stop-gap for Eckstein|
|82||Scott||Spiezio||15.528||His 2005 in SEA was really awful|
|1||Chris||Carpenter||97.222||A||Can't argue with this|
|21||Jeff||Suppan||75.735||A||Solid 2006 puts his value sky high|
|31/32||Line between Type A and B|
|32||Mark||Mulder||63.889||B||Just below the line - could help or hurt|
|35||Jeff||Weaver||60.049||B||May have found a home near the Arch|
|37t||Jason||Marquis||59.641||B||Color him gone|
|52/53||Line between Type B and C|
|62/63||Line between Type C and no compensation|
|101t||Rick||Ankiel||0.98||Amazed to see him here or anywhere|
|NR||Anthony||Reyes||He'd better be up there next time|
|19||Jason||Isringhausen||72.137||A||Not paid like #19, which is a problem|
|43/44||Line between Type A and B|
|51||Josh||Hancock||57.41||B||Surprised he is best of the rest|
|52||Braden||Looper||56.828||B||Clearly overpaid for role/return|
|54||Jorge||Sosa||56.338||B||Good candidate to be non-tendered|
|57||Adam||Wainwright||56.093||B||Won't be this low next year|
|72/73||Line between Type B and C|
|80||Randy||Flores||45.867||C||Results better than ranking|
|86/87||Line between Type C and no compensation|
|125||Tyler||Johnson||29.026||Will also be higher next time|
|128||Ricardo||Rincon||26.516||Only due to his 2005 in Oakland|
|NR||Josh||Kinney||Emerged too late in season|
|NR||Brad||Thompson||No idea why he isn't here|
In a future installment, we will look at the impact of the Elias rankings on potential free agent targets of the Cardinals. Until then, as a rule of thumb, it is reasonable to assume the Cardinals may try to avoid Type A free agents requiring them to forfeit a draft pick, instead focusing on Type B players.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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