St. Louis Cardinals' Ryan Helsley reflects on arbitration process, says no hard feelings

Wild Card Series - Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals - Game One
Wild Card Series - Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals - Game One / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Ryan Helsley lost his arbitration case, but isn't letting it hurt his relationship with the Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals fans may be on edge a bit after the very public destain Corbin Burnes had toward the Brewers after losing his arbitration case, but closer Ryan Helsley appears to be taking the difficult process as humbly as one can.

After working with the front office this off-season to try and hammer out a long-term deal, the sides ended up in arbitration, where Helsley sought a $3 million salary for 2023. The Cardinals won the hearing, and Helsley will be awarded a salary of $2.15 million for this coming season.

While Helsley could have come into camp feeling hurt by the club, it appears he has taken the high road with this frustrating part of the business.

"“You definitely understand that it is a business, and I respect that part of it,” Helsley said. “Yeah, it was definitely tough to hear some stuff, for sure. You think you do some things good, but they still find ways to tell you that you’re not good. It’s definitely (difficult) to go in there and swallow and take that on the chin, if you will.""

Ryan Helsley

It's been a weird offseason for Helsley and the Cardinals since his finger injury in the Wild Card Series caused him to fall apart during the 9th inning of Game 1. When the Cardinals were searching the trade market for a catcher, it was reported that they were willing to part with Helsley for one of the Toronto catchers, something not many people expected. Helsley was one of the best closers in baseball last year, going 9-1 while posting a 1.25 ERA with 19 saves and 94 SO in 64.2 innings.

Even with all the weird offseason and frustrating arbitration process, Helsely had a perspective on the situation that most fans will appreciate.

"“If the worst thing that happens is I make $2 million and not $3 million, then I’ll be all right,” he said. “I’m just trying to be thankful for the opportunities that I have and cherish the moments that I have in the game while I have them."

Ryan Helsley

It's refreshing to hear the appreciation a player like Helsley has for the amount of money he is able to make playing a game we all love. Too often players complain about being disrespected while negotiating contracts in the $100 million or higher range. At the same time though, it is a business, and its fair for Helsley to seek more compensation for his performance. It is possible to be grateful for what you have but believe you could get a little more from this game. I'm just glad Helsley hasn't taken any of it personally.

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