St. Louis Cardinals: Tommy Pham not invited to the party

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Tommy Pham /

The St. Louis Cardinals extended one contract today and completed a number of others while leaving another out of the party. This will actually be a good thing for 2018 and beyond.

The St. Louis Cardinals extended Paul DeJong today and gave him six years and guaranteed money. Additionally, the Cardinals closed deals with some 20+ others. Except for Tommy Pham. While not left out in the cold, Pham was not (or has not yet received) tendered an extension or “contract” but instead had his contract renewed.

Contract renewed. This is particularly powerful terms in the baseball world. The St. Louis Cardinals had not “renewed” a contract since they did with Adam Wainwright and Anthony Reyes in 2008.

For those keeping score at home, a renewed contract is basically just a continuation of the contract issued in the former season. In other words, Pham will operate in 2018 under the same contract amount he received in 2017.

If you wondered, Pham made $510k last year. If he repeats his performance from last year, now playing center field full-time for the 2018 St. Louis Cardinals, he will be a complete steal for the Cardinals. This doesn’t help Pham… necessarily.

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Before I dig into that, let’s look back at Adam Wainwright of 2007 and 2008. Waino went from earning $410k to earning $687,500 in 2008. The difference in his earnings between 2007 and 2008 were incentives and bonuses. Did he earn more? Yes, but the two sides could not come to terms on a longer deal. This didn’t break his connection with the Cardinals, however, and look where he is now.

How about a look at Reyes… In 2007, Anthony Reyes earned $392,500 and he earned the exact same amount in 2008. Did this affect his time with the St. Louis Cardinals? Perhaps. Half-way through 2008, Reyes was traded from the Cardinals to the Cleveland Indians.

Back to Pham… 2017 was a Pham-ominal year of performance. Pham himself has admitted that 2017 was so positive because he played with a chip on his shoulder. 2017’s chip? Not being the every day center fielder.

Now enters 2018’s chip: the continuation of his current contract.

Apparently the two sides couldn’t come to terms on a 2-year deal. This broke the talks and ended discussions. Pham commented on this as reported by Derrick Goold and Joe Trezza:

So there it is, the St. Louis Cardinals renewed their first contract in ten years. Additionally, in my opinion, this renewal will spur Pham into a great year if he utilizes the chip in the right way. Mark my words, Tommy Pham will far out-earn his renewed contract. The real question will be whether he stays with the Cardinals beyond this season.

Next: 6-man rotation?

What do you think? Should Pham be displeased with today’s outcome or should he prove the St. Louis Cardinals wrong by out-earning the money he is given? If he does out-earn the money, should he even listen to the Cardinals should they come with an offer of extension? Let me know on Twitter and thanks for reading!