St. Louis Cardinals 2013 Payroll and Contracts Going Forward

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Wednesday, March.25/2013

2012 was a season that ended with disappointment which ultimately distracted us from recognizing what a successful year it really was.  2012 highlighted a lot of the greatness that is to come for this great franchise.  The Cardinals are greatly positioned for the next 5 years with the influx of 6 top 100 MLB Prospects at  League Entry Level Contracts

2012 was a season that ended with disappointment which ultimately distracted us from recognizing what a successful year it really was. 2012 highlighted a lot of the greatness that is to come for this great franchise. The Cardinals are greatly positioned for the next 5 years with the influx of 6 top 100 MLB Prospects at League Entry Level Contracts.  The Cards were 1 one away from the World Series in 2012 before the Giants won 3 elimination games.  Can the franchise withstand the losses of Lohse, Carpenter, Furcal and even Hitting Coach Mgwire

By Landen Crouch ( Cardinals Correspondent)

I believe we can expect more of the same from the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013. This is a franchise that has proven they can be competitive on a consistent basis, even doing so last year without Albert Pujols. The Cardinals enter 2013 following consecutive runs to the National League Championship Series (won World Series in 2011).

On the heels of a very quiet offseason, the Cardinals seem to be entering the 2013 season with a very clear plan: get younger while simultaneously maintaining a high level of success on the field. The franchise has clearly begun this transition already with the departure of a few key players in the last several years – Kyle Lohse being the latest.

In the money department, the Cardinals have never been afraid to spend money to help the ballclub; however, they have always done so wisely. They are not among the teams that seemingly are just trying to buy championships. They have always been a team that uses a healthy balance of money and a solid farm system for success.

In 2013, the Cardinals will rank 10th in all of Major League Baseball in overall payroll – in the upper tier, for sure, but not overspending by any means – and their farm system is ranked 1st overall in baseball. The Cardinals have the money and the players it takes to continue being competitive for a long time to come.

2011 Cardinals World Series:

Carpenter warming up while rehabbing another one of the many injuries that have plagued his career.  In any year that the man has started 25 or more games as a Cardinals player, the franchise has made the playoffs.  Granted the 2012 version of the club was without Carp for the whole season as well and they managed

Carpenter warming up while rehabbing another one of the many injuries that have plagued his career. In any year that the man has started 25 or more games as a Cardinals player, the franchise has made the playoffs. Granted the 2012 version of the club was without Carp for the whole season as well and they managed to make it to another NLCS.  Will it be the young guys taking over?  Having the best pitcher in recent franchise history on the shelf will provide some insurance $$ needed to go get a Starting Pitcher at the Trade Deadline.  With a bushful of players to net them ace, might this be the formula.

Total Payroll compared to rest of MLB:

1. Los Angeles Dodgers – $218M
2. New York Yankees – $217M
3. Philadelphia Phillies – $158M
4. Los Angeles Angels – $152M
5. Boston Red Sox – $150M
6. Detroit Tigers – $150M
7. San Francisco Giants – $137M
8. Texas Rangers – $120M
9. Chicago White Sox – $117M
10. St. Louis Cardinals – $115M

Cardinals Player Salaries – in order of Millions

Matt Holliday OF ($17M) (Signed through 2016 with $17M Club Option for 2017): At 33 years old, Holliday is beginning to enter the back side of a solid career. He has aged a bit, and at times has struggled with some nagging injuries.

But Holliday is coming off of a 157-game season in 2012, where he blasted 27 HRs and posted 102 RBI. I expect more of the same from Matt Holliday in 2013 as he is not quite ready to slow down the pace.

Yadier Molina C ($14M) (Signed through 2017, with $15M club option for 2018): As of right now, Molina is one of the best bargains in all of major league baseball. Having a guy bring what he brings to your club for only $14M (Yes, ONLY) is unbelievable. In 2012, four Catchers made more money than Yadi, which is asinine.

He has been the best defensive catcher in the game for a number of years now, and his offensive numbers are catching up to his glove. Last season Molina was the NL Gold Glove winner for the Catcher position, and he also finished 4th in the NL MVP vote. Obviously, it would be difficult, but could Yadier Molina possibly win a Gold Glove and an MVP in 2013?

Carlos Beltran is only amongst a select few active and retired players that possess 300 Career HRs (334) and 300 Stolen Bases (306) for their Career. Turning age 36 this year, this might be his last crack at a World Series

Carlos Beltran is only amongst a select few active and retired players that possess 300 Career HRs (334) and 300 Stolen Bases (306) for their Career. Turning age 36 this year, this might be his last crack at a World Series.

Carlos Beltran OF ($13M) (Signed through 2013, Free Agent in 2014): Beltran enters the 2013 season a month shy of 36 years old with lofty expectations from Cardinals fans. For all of 2012, Cardinals fans got to see Beltran in flashback mode, as he posted his highest Home Run total in 5 years (32).

Although I would love to see it again, I do not think Cardinals fans can expect the exact same type of production in 2013. A line of .270 BA, 23 HRs, and 80 RBI might be a more realistic for the aged Beltran.

Adam Wainwright SP ($12M) (Signed through 2013, Free Agent in 2014): After missing the entire 2011 season due to Tommy John Surgery, Wainwright came back with a descent 2012 season. In 32 starts, he went (14-13) with an ERA of 3.94.

This year will be a turning point for Wainwright. Can he get back to his old self of 2009-2010? If he can, he should expect a BIG payday. It’s possible this could be his last season in St. Louis.

Chris Carpenter SP ($10.5M) (Signed through 2013, Free Agent 2014): This past offseason, Chris Carpenter suffered yet another major offseason injury. This one could prove to be costly. Carpenter is not expected to play in 2013 and will likely retire if he can’t get back to the field in 2013.

Jake Westbrook SP ($8.75M) (Signed through 2013, $9.5M club option for 2014): Jake Westbrook makes $8.5 million a year?!? Yes. It’s true. That’s a lot of money for a guy that hasn’t started a single game in the playoffs the last two years.

He is an average pitcher that makes really good money, so good for him I guess. His 2012 line looked like this: (13-11) with a 3.97 ERA. Descent, but not worth the extension he got, in my opinion.

Rafael Furcal SS ($7M) (Signed through 2013, Free Agent in 2014): Furcal will likely miss the entire 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery on his right elbow in March. Pete Kozma and Daniel Descalso are expected replacements.

Jaime Garcia SP ($5.75M) (Signed through 2015, Club Options for 2016 and 2017 worth $11.5M and $12M): Garcia enters the 2013 season at 26 years of age. It is a prime time year for him as a pitcher.

It is time to truly prove that he belongs at the top of the rotation. Garcia has been a very good pitcher for the Cardinals, but has lacked consistency at times. He has potential to be a 20-game winner, but has yet to show it consistently. Maybe 2013 is the year for him to do so.

Ty Wiggington 1B/3B/OF ($2.5M) (Signed through 2014 and a Free Agent in 2015): Wiggington was signed by the Cardinals this past offseason to fill in as a Utility guy and Pinch Hitter for the Cardinals. He’ll see some spot starts, but I believe he will mostly be used for days off for Allen Craig and David Freese. He should also provide a great power bat off the bench for some key late-game situations.

Jason Motte CL ($4.5M) (Signed through 2014 and a Free Agent in 2015): Jason Motte exploded on the scene in 2012, sharing the NL lead in Saves with Craig Kimbrel (42). He topped that off with 3 Saves in the playoffs. Motte looks to be the leader in the Cardinals bullpen for 2013.

If the bullpen can consistently get the ball to him in the 9th inning with a lead, Motte should see yet another successful season as a shut-down Closer.

David Freese and John Jay = a multitude of other Cardinals have a winning pedigree - in winning 5 out of the last 6 Playoff Series they have been in

David Freese and a multitude of other Cardinals have a winning pedigree – in winning 5 out of the last 6 Playoff Series they have been in.

David Freese 3B ($3.15M) (Eligible for Arbitration in 2014 and a Free Agent in 2016): David Freese earned himself a nice contract last season after finally showing himself as a durable option at Third Base. Freese played in more than 100 games for the first time in his career, topping out at 144. Freese turns 30 in 2013 and will look to continue his maturity as player and become more of a team leader this season.

Allen Craig 1B ($1.8M) (Signed through 2017, with $13M club option for 2018): Allen Craig is coming off a monster season in 2012, where he posted a line of .307 BA, 22 HRs, and 92 RBI in just 119 games (did not play a single game in April).

Craig filled in nicely at First Base in his first full year at the position. He should look more comfortable in his role there in 2013 as he continues to emerge as a star player for the Cardinals.

Jon Jay CF ($504K) (Eligible for Arbitration in 2014 and a Free Agent in 2017): Jon Jay is an outstanding bargain for the Cardinals. Jay is an everyday Center-Fielder and a perennial .300 hitter for under a Million.

Lance Lynn SP($482K) (Eligible for Arbitration in 2015 and a Free Agent in 2018): Lance Lynn is coming off a fantastic 2012 season, winning 18 games to lead Cardinal pitchers. Lynn will easily make the Cards Starting Rotation and should be either the Number 2 or 3 starter.

Matt Carpenter 2B ($480K) (Arbitration Eligible in 2015 and a Free Agent in 2018): At this point, Matt Carpenter is expected to be the everyday Second Baseman for the Cardinals. Much like Skip Schumaker, Carpenter spent the offseason working on the position and has converted from an Outfielder to an Infielder. It should work out wonderfully to have his bat in the lineup everyday.

Others

Edward Mujica RHP ($3.2M) Mujica is in the last year of his deal and will be  a Free Agent in 2014.  He was lights out in his 26.2 IP  in 2012 – yielding an ERA of 1.03 and a WHIP of 0.873.

Randy Choate RHP ($1.5M)  (Signed a 3 YR Deal worth $7.5 MIL.  He is set to make $3 MIL in both 2014 and 2015).  Choate is a steady veteran with much Post Season experience.  It looks good with Jason Motte by on the injured list to start the year.

Mitchell Boggs RHP ($1.4M)  (Arbitration Eligible in 2015 and a Free Agent in 2018).  Mitchell Boggs rose to the challenge in 2012, going 4 – 1 with a 2.21 ERA.  He threw in 73.1 IP and sported a WHIP of 1.05.

Marc Rzepczynski LHP ($1.1M) (Arbitration Eligible in 2014 and a Free Agent in 2016).  This is a decent contract for a situational LHP out of the pen.

Fernando Salas RHP ($498K)  (Arbitration Eligible in 2014 and a Free Agent in 2017). Salas appeared in 65 games in 2012.

Daniel Descalso SS/2B/3B ($495K)  (Arbitration Eligible in 2014 and a Free Agent in 2017). 

Tony Cruz C ($481K) (Arbitration Eligible in 2014 and a Free Agent in 2017.)

Shane Robinson OF ($480K) (Arbitration Eligible in 2014 and a Free Agent in 2017.)

Final Thoughts:

As I said in the beginning, the Cardinals are attempting to change the structure of their team by adding more youth in the next few years, while maintaining on-field success. A lot of teams have the so-called “window to win” based on contract situations. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem as if the Cardinals have that issue.

Cardinals fans can thank General Manager John Mozeliak and the incredible ownership for such a wonderful job putting together this team over the years. The current roster is good enough to win a World Series, and they have tons of top prospects that will eventually step in and continue the rich tradition that is Cardinals baseball.

The Cardinals have won in the past, are currently a winning team, and will be a winning team in the future. It is as easy as that.

The Cardinals always chose the franchise and are better situated for when it comes to legendary big player contracts.  Not signing Albert Pujols has saved the team $25 MIL a  year over the next 9 years.  With how they have drafted in recent vintage, the pattern doesn't look to change any time soon.

The Cardinals always chose the franchise and are better situated for when it comes to legendary big player contracts. Not signing Albert Pujols has saved the team $25 MIL a year over the next 9 years. With how they have drafted in recent vintage, the pattern doesn’t look to change any time soon.  Players like Taveras and Rosenthal will take over from the departed.  This club has made it to 7 out of the last 12 NLCS Championships.  Oh yeah, they also do not have to contend with anybody else in the top 10 for MLB Payroll.  They are the NL Central leaders in Team Salary.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of www.mlbreports.com and their partners.***

A big thank-you goes out to our Cardinals Correspondent Landen Crouch.  Landen is a huge fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He has followed them almost religiously since he was 7-Years-Old.  In recent years, though, Landen has discovered how deep his passion for the game of baseball is.  His dream is to visit as many ballparks as he can in his lifetime.  Landen does not currently cover sports professionally, but as a hobby.  He is studying Vocal Music Education at Arkansas Tech University and is his final year in the program.  He is set to graduate in December of this year.  Follow and Interact with Landen on Twitter

 a landen crouch

Please e-mail me  at: mlbreports@gmail.com with any questions and feedback.  You can follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.  To subscribe to our website and have the Daily Reports sent directly to your inbox, click here and follow the link at the top of our homepage.

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Posted on March 25, 2013, in MLB Payroll and Contracts, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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