St. Louis Cardinals: Arbitration Players and Anticipated Figures

4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez dodges a broken bat during the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
4, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez dodges a broken bat during the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

The 2016 St. Louis Cardinals off-season will begin like many before by the organization facing those players who are arbitration-eligible.

Players under team control but entering a season with no contract after a set number of years of active duty on a team are known as arbitration-eligible.  I realize this is an oversimplification of a complicated aspect of baseball but it helps to quickly dive into the St. Louis Cardinals players who are on the arbitration list.

The off-season, despite having no active baseball, is one of my favorite times of the baseball year.  I love watching teams wheel and deal and move players.  The one part of the off-season that bores me, however, is the arbitration process.  I understand the value of this for players and teams under the CBA, I just find it tiresome and something that stands in the way of trades.

But wait, that’s not entirely fair is it?  The arbitration process helps with trades as it adds value to players or detracts values from players and helps drive the trade mentality of a team.  Okay, so I might have misjudged a little.  Please don’t burn effigies of me.  Let’s look at the St. Louis Cardinals facing arbitration this season.

Michael Wacha is noted as having 3.062 seasons of active duty for the St. Louis Cardinals.  He completed his one-year contract in 2016 valued at $539,000.  This was cheap but the Cardinals, in all honesty, did not get too much for this money.  Let’s look at his stats:

2015 ★23STL1773.3830181.11626819581533.871.213
4 Yrs33213.7491491.0468204451554263.601.269
162 Game Avg.1383.74361931848018611673.601.269

Wacha is under team control until 2020.  His 2016 stats do nothing to help his arbitration case if he was hoping to make money.  That said, MLBTR predicts that Wacha could land a deal valued at $3.2MM.  This feels a touch high to me for the value but thinking of replacing his potential from the market makes me feel a little better about this figure.

Next up is Carlos Martinez who is noted as having 3.073 seasons of active duty for the St. Louis Cardinals.  He completed an outstanding year in 2016 sitting atop the Cardinals rotation.  His 2016 contract was an absolute steal at $539,000.  An absolute steal at stats like this:

2015 ★23STL1473.0131179.21686013631843.211.286
4 Yrs34213.32140492.2458182331784663.361.291
162 Game Avg.1173.32461611506011581523.361.291

Martinez is under team control, thankfully, until 2020.  His 2016 stats certainly help raise his value.  This all-star should see some green in arbitration, right?  MLBTR predicts that he would make a deal valued at $5.3MM.  I think, on the other hand, that the team will lock him up with an extension and avoid arbitration.

Kevin Siegrist has notched 3.116 years of service to the St. Louis Cardinals.  Siegrist is a stalwart in the Cardinals pen even though he has experienced his share of hiccups.  His 2016 contract, like Wacha and Martinez above, was at the league minimum of $539,000– yet another steal.  These are his stats:

4 Yrs1792.702309206.11446220942433.491.153
162 Game Avg.532.70683614318628723.491.153

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Siegrist will have great worth for the Cardinals in 2017 with the absence of Zach Duke. This, I think, will keep him from arbitration and will instead have him receiving an extension.  Siegrist is under team control 2020 which seems to be a trend for the Cardinals.  MLBTR predicts Kevin’s arbitration figure at $1.9MM which could be the outcome if the organization thinks he will regress.

Next up is Seth Maness who has served the Cardinals with 3.154 years of service.  2016 was somewhat of a down year for Maness who experienced injury and then working back from this injury.  Maness, one of Mike Matheny‘s bromances (Siegrist too), was likely tired from overuse throughout Matheny’s tenure.  These are his stats:

4 Yrs17103.192447237.12538420451523.551.256
162 Game Avg.533.19682667123613423.551.256

Maness, like Siegrist, could find great worth for the 2017 Cardinals in the Duke absence.  Like all of the players listed in this article, Maness is under control until 2020.  Maness’ 2016 contract was worth more than the others listed here at $1.4M.  MLBTR predicts Maness to earn $1.6MM in arbitration.  I look for the Cardinals to go to arbitration in this case.

Matt Adams could be great, let’s all admit, and we have witnessed some flashes of this during his 4.033 years of service.  We have also witnessed some lackluster performances.  How about 2016?

5 Yrs45513811603738155521089340.270.314.455.770
162 Game Avg.16249257133292207532121.270.314.455.770

Adams is under team control until 2019 and received $1.65M in 2016.  MLBTR predicts that he could earn $2.88MM in a deal through arbitration.  If the St. Louis Cardinals are thinking of keeping Adams in the long term (with Brandon Moss likely leaving), an extension now wouldn’t be out of the question.  I predict that they might allow arbitration in this case.

The final name on the list of arbitration-eligible players for the Cardinals this season is Trevor Rosenthal.  At 4.058 years of service, Rosenthal enters these negotiations coming off an injured year.  Rosey lost the closing job this season which might not help his case for money.

2015 ★25STL242.10684868.26216325832.421.267
5 Yrs8202.92278110277.124490141233592.671.323
162 Game Avg.252.926827686022330882.671.323

All considered, however, Rosenthal is a great arm to have in the pen.  It was rumored that the Cardinals were considering stretching him into a starter.  Will that play into the negotiations?  MLBTR predicts that Rosey could earn $6.3M (was paid $5.6M in 2016).  I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Cards avoid arbitration with Rosenthal who is under control until 2019.

Next: Game 5 Recap; Game 6 Preview

Many things could be put into motion should the Indians close out the World Series tonight.  Clocks will start clicking on free agents, qualifying offers, options, and arbitration.  Of these names, who would you offer contracts and who would you battle through arbitration?  Follow us on Twitter and let us know!