Duncan Gets New Deal


The Cardinals and pitching coach Dave Duncan agreed to a two-year deal on Sunday. The contract, which was announced Monday, is estimated to give Duncan about $750,000 per season and features a mutual option for the 2013 season. This makes him the highest paid pitching coach in Major League Baseball. Duncan was very happy about returning for a 16th season in St Louis.

"“The organization has given every indication it is committed to putting together a winning team. Tony coming back was real important to my decision. Other than that, it was about sitting down with Mo and working out a contract that I liked. I’m glad it worked out the way it did.”"

2011 will be the 29th year that Duncan has served as Tony La Russa’s pitching coach. There is no doubt that this dominant duo has been a major key to success for the Cardinals over the last decade. The 65-year-old Duncan has established himself as one of the best pitching coaches in St Louis history, and there’s no question that bringing him back was the right decision.

Duncan has put together arguably the best rotation in baseball, featuring two of the best pitchers in the game in Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter. In 2010, the Cards had the fifth best ERA in baseball (3.57). Duncan is sure to be crucial in the development of Rookie of the Year candidate Jamie Garcia. If he continues to get better under the guidance of Duncan, it won’t be too long before Garcia’s name is thrown into Cy Young discussions.

The Cardinals have now signed La Russa, Duncan, McGwire, McKay (First-base coach), Oquendo (Third-base coach), and Pettini (Bench coach). This leaves the position of bullpen coach as the only opening as far as the staff is concerned. General manager John Mozeliak has said that he hopes to fill this void with someone inside the organization.

Any way you look at it, the Cards are doing an excellent accomplishing their offseason tasks as quickly as possible. Now, the focus turns to the free agent market as the team looks to turn things around next season.