The St. Louis Cardinals’ thriftiness could pay off

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Aug 18, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Justin Upton (10) doubles during the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Are they worth it?

The youngest of the group is Upton, he is only 28 years of age, and he would most likely be asking for a contract worth of $120-150 million for five to six years and he most likely to receive an offer.

To whomever signs Upton, I do see a potential risk here, as does Co-Editor Steven McNeil.  He might go out and provide two solid years of production, but as he starts to creep into his 30s, he is going to be a below average player.

Even if the Cardinals’ wanted to go and spend big on of these free agents that are left, take a look at the numbers and what it is St. Louis would be paying for.  Let’s take a look over the last five seasons, 472 position players have put up 2-WAR season or greater.

Of those, roughly a quarter came from players over the age of 30.  Raise the age up to above 32, and the number drops in half.  Move up another two years and the number drops in half again.  Chris Davis and Yoenis Cespedes will be 30 at the start of their contracts while Alex Gordon will be 32.

There is a dollar value where I would take Upton, Davis, Cespedes (who has already said that he would be willing to play right field in the past), or Gordon (maybe $80 million for Gordon, $100 million for Davis or Cespedes, and $120 for Upton), but unless the market drops, those players are unlikely to become decent values.

All of those contracts will be paying for the downside of their production. When you look at it this way, it makes sense why this team has not been interested in signing any of them. There’s even more coming up through the system.

Next: Internal Options

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