Tuesday's announcement was that twelve pitchers signed, including right-handers Andy Cavazos, Dennis Dove, Brian Falkenborg, Blake Hawksworth, Josh Hancock, Josh Kinney, Anthony Reyes, Brad Thompson and Adam Wainwright. Left-handed hurlers Troy Cate, Chris Narveson and Tyler Johnson also agreed to terms.
With these moves, the Cardinals now have every player on their 40-man roster under contract.
As a point of comparison, players with three years or more, including the top 17% of second year players, are eligible to use the arbitration process to set their salaries. All those players have been under contract for six weeks or more. So Taguchi was the last, coming to terms on a new one-year deal on January 16.
How is it decided how much these 18 recent signees make?
For the more experienced hands like Molina, who will most likely never return to the minors, the minimum Major League salary is $380,000 this year. They would earn this rate or more by either being on the Major League roster or on the Major League disabled list.
For those who are starting at least their second year on the 40-man roster or have at least one day of Major League service, the minimum salary as a minor leaguer is $60,000.
The minimum salary for first-time members of the 40-man who have no Major League experience is half the minor league minimum, or $30,000.
What about the yo-yo's?
For those who on the edge, players who may be down to Triple-A Memphis and back up during the course of the season, they will make a pro-rated salary based on the number of days at each level. In other words, they get paid the major league rate for each day of service on the major league roster.
What does this mean by individual?
I based the salary level groupings on my earlier roster projections. Eagle-eyed readers will note there are 19 names listed, as I have to assume that Travis Hanson also previously came to terms, along with the 18 announced here.
In the center column, the player's 2006 salary is listed where known (tip of the cap to Cot's Baseball Contracts). Again, in every case, the 2007 minimum salary for a major leaguer would be $380,000, $60,000 for the experienced players if in the minors and $30,000 for the new additions to the 40-man.
Technically, Yadier Molina's salary could even be cut. Instead, the Cardinals likely gave him a nice raise over his $400,000 amount in 2006. They might hope it would give them a small edge in negotiating a longer-term deal to cover some of the catcher's arbitration-eligible years, which will begin in 2008.
While there will be some differences among the major leaguers' salaries, note the close clumping of the non-starters and bullpenners' salaries last season. In 2006, Brad Thompson made only $7,000 more than the $327,000 minimum, which was $2,000 more than John Rodriguez and $5,000 more than Skip Schumaker. Adam Wainwright was at the minimum.
2007 Cardinals Projected Roster and Resulting Salary Minimums
|2006 Sal||2007 Min|
|Make the 25-man (6)|
|Miss the cut (6)|
|(Year two - 2)|
|(Year one - 5)|
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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