St. Louis Cardinals: What the Big FA Signings Mean

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David Price to the Boston Red Sox

Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The David Price signing was a good thing and a bad thing for the St. Louis Cardinals. On the one hand, it means Price is not in the National League. The Boston Red Sox aren’t even on the St. Louis Cardinals schedule next year.

On the other hand, it created an insane market for starting pitching. Price signed a 7-year, $217 million deal with the Sox. From MLB.com:

"Price’s contract was the largest ever awarded to a pitcher, just edging out the $215 million extension Clayton Kershaw signed with the Dodgers and the $210 million contract Max Scherzer signed with the Nationals. The average annual value of $31 million per season tied the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera for the largest deal in history, regardless of position. Zack Greinke‘s reported deal with the D-backs on Friday night is likely to eclipse that average annual value."

But it’s not the money that impacts the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s the years. Given the injuries and arm strength dropoff inherent to big league pitchers, the contract length simply isn’t rational. Price, who is already 30, has two, maybe three Price-like years left. For the St. Louis Cardinals and every other team, this deal adds pressure to give a starter like Johnny Cueto and even Mike Leake, who’s piquing interest around the league thanks to his experience relative to his young age, at least five years. Probably more.

On behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals, I say thanks a lot, Dave Dombrowski.

Next: Zack Greinke to the Arizona Diamondbacks

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