With the St. Louis Cardinals season having come to an end, the talk now turns to the future and what’s ahead for the Cardinals.
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Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. spoke with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, according to Derrick Goold, about the team’s payroll in the years ahead.
"“We have forecasted increases over the next three to five years that will accommodate what we need to do with the young players we have,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt told The Post-Dispatch this past week. “We knew as younger players matured at the major-league level they would get to arbitration and into free agency. We wouldn’t be able to retain them at the current payroll level, so we’re forecasting fairly significant increases in the next three to five years.”"
Baseball Reference has a grid of the Cardinals payroll through the 2020 season. Not taking into account team options and the contracts offered to players eligible for arbitration, the team has 8 players guaranteed a contract during the 2015 season for $82.8 million. This number includes $9.25 million that is guaranteed to Jaime Garcia. Garcia might never pitch again for the Cardinals.
Of the three players eligible for arbitration for the 2015 season, Lance Lynn is the most notable player that will see a pay raise. After that, there’s Tony Cruz and Shane Robinson. With Robinson, there’s a battle for outfield spots on the roster and with so many young players to the point where Robinson isn’t needed when they get factored into the big picture.
The club is going to need to have some flexibility when it comes to the payroll. The Cardinals are a small-market team and nobody wants to see ticket prices increased but when it comes to paying players, it may have to happen.