The St. Louis Cardinals’ thriftiness could pay off

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Just because the St. Louis Cardinals have the money, doesn’t mean they should spend it.

As it is becoming the popular theme of the last couple of years in free agency, contracts are generally a poor investment for baseball teams.  Historically the long-term free agency deals have not panned out well for teams willing to spend big. The players are good for one to two years, and maybe a third, but generally theres is a drop off. So, maybe the St. Louis Cardinals shouldn’t spend that money?

The one’s that tend to work out the best are those of players that sign a long-term deal close to free agency, like the current contracts of Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina.

Also the players in their arbitration years, such as Trevor Rosenthal and Brandon Moss, are generally solid values.  The long-term contracts signed before arbitration, like that of Matt Carpenter, and even Jamie Garcia, are generally solid investments as well (Allen Craig is an exception as I said “generally”). Even looking at what the Cardinals did with Lance Lynn is not a bad investment, but it will be interesting to see how they value him after next season.

Then finally, you have the players making the league minimum, which are players like Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, and Kolten Wong which are just downright bargains. So, when you look at the expensive market in free agency, and compare them to these guys, it doesn’t really add up.

However, we are going to take a look at the value in the guys left on the free agent market and it adds up with a potential signing with the Cardinals.

Next: Values in free agency