The Cardinals have been busy today. They activated Gerald Laird off the disabled list, added PJ Walters to the 40 man roster and promoted him to St. Louis, and sent Brandon Dickson and Mark Hamilton to Memphis. They designated Bryan Augenstein for assignment to make room for Walters since the 40 man was previously full.
These moves make sense. I don’t think Walters is that much better than Augenstein so that move is a little perplexing to me. Dickson performed well last night but the fact was that the Cards only had Lance Lynn, who threw 40 pitches Tuesday night, and Jason Motte, who threw three pitches last night, available for tonight’s game. Kyle McCllelan is not a real reliable person to expect to throw a lot of innings either so they needed an arm to throw innings and Walters is that.
Hamilton was useless since he isn’t a good defender in the outfield, can only play first base, and his whole value is derided on him hitting which he wasn’t. So we have three catchers on the major league roster since Cruz has performed better than expected. And Cruz is just about as useless as Hamilton was anyway except he can play catcher, third (uh not well though), and first.
Oh yeah, back to the title of the post. The day started off simply enough with the moves described as above, and then a random person on Twitter (@JoshHandler) tweeted that Jaime Garcia is rumored to have signed a 4 year, 27.5 million deal with options that can keep him here until 2017. Ok, well that is exciting, but who is Josh Handler and how credible is his information?
BJ Rains, writer for Fox Sports Midwest, naturally wondered where these rumors came from. Handler responded, on twitter, that he got them from Michael Golde, news anchor/reporter on 550 (description on Twitter account). Ok, so with that, the credibility factor shot straight up. Instead of a random guy, we have an actual inside man.
Then BJ Rains questioned Jaime Garcia about the matter and his response was: “I’m not saying yes or no, but if something is going on, when the time comes, you guys will find out.” So this rumor sounds legitimate. That comment was basically, I can’t say anything about the matter to jeopardize but in code, yes we are talking. Stories later on in the day from Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch and Matthew Leach of MLB.com put a nail in the coffin that these rumors are most certainly legit.
The rumored deal of 4 years/27.5 million would be a bargain even considering his arbitration years. This next year, he should get, barring he actually signed the deal, 3-5 million in the arbitration hearings, based off the fact that Price is expected to to get $6.5 million and the current record for first year arbitration is $4.3 million. Garcia is young and had Tommy John surgery so he’ll likely get a little less than $4 million.
Garcia, for the record, is in his second year, but his trip to the DL while he had Tommy John, went against his service time so he has more years of service than just the expected 2 years. So basically, he’d be a free agent by 2015 if he kept signing one-year deals from arbitration deals.
The rumored deal buys out one of his free agent years and supposedly has two option years, probably similar to the Adam Wainwright option years. If I had to guess (and I will), his deal would go something like 3-5.5-8.5-10.5 with option years at $12-15 million. So basically, if he were to hit free agency in 2015 and his performance was similar to now or better, would he get $10.5 million on the market? I think he would and that’s why I think this would be an incredible extension with little downside.
Comparative deals are Clay Bucholz and Johnny Cueto. Bucholz signed a 4 year/$30 million deal and Cueto signed an exact 4 year/27.5 million deal, both at the same time in the service clock as Jaime Garcia. Cueto has an escalating salary each year going from $3.5-5.4-7.4-10 with a $10 million club option. I would take that if it’s the exact same deal since Cueto has a career 3.96 ERA with a 7.05 K/9 while Garcia has a 3.07 ERA with a 7.28 K/9.
Bucholz signed a deal with an escalating salary as well going from $3.5-5.5-7.7-12 with a $13 million option in 2016 and a $13.5 million option in 2017. Again, I would take this deal although I prefer Cueto’s. Bucholz has a career 3.64 ERA with a 6.89 K/9 so the cap is slightly less than Cueto but still Garcia is better than both and may sign for about the same so if this rumored deal will happen, Mozeliak pulled another Wainwright, something he doesn’t get enough credit for (Go look at Wainwright and Yadier Molina deals and then you may stop the “Hire Jocketty” tones)