On the day of the deadline to reach arbitration agreements before going to a hearing, the St. Louis Cardinals have settled with four players.
Arbitration is a way for players to begin to make more money towards the end of their rookie contract and the St. Louis Cardinals have always been great at reaching agreements with their players. The arbitration process gives the players a voice in their salary and the agreed price is usually reflective of their performance in the year prior.
It is a semi complicated process, but in short, if the team and the player do not agree to a deal before the deadline, they go to court for a judge to decide what a player should make. Often times players sign contracts that buy out their arbitration years of their rookie contract because the salary fluctuates. It is a risk for the team but players like Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong did this to have stability.
Friday was this year’s deadline for teams to make agreements with their players and the Cardinals came to agreements with all four of their players they needed to to avoid going to a hearing.
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Marcell Ozuna, Chasen Shreve, Michael Wacha, and Dominic Leone agreed to one year contracts of $12.25M, $900,000, $6.35M, and $1.26M respectively. These numbers are no surprise as these players all earned what they are being paid in 2019.
With all settlements reached, the exact payroll for the Cardinals comes into place. The St. Louis Cardinals currently sit at around $157M in total for 2019. That is down about 4% from last year and the team normally likes to keep payroll around the same figure.
This does mean the Cardinals have plenty of room for adding more players if they want, even if they probably won’t do anything significant.
Ozuna and Wacha are both free agents after the 2019 season and the fact the Cardinals only signed them to one year deals could suggest they aren’t very interested in bringing them back. With arbitration settled, the St. Louis Cardinals now can begin to focus more on the upcoming season.