Now that the Free Agent Frenzy has died down, St. Louis Cardinals locked in CF Dexter Fowler; and, had been linked to others by "rumors". The MLB Arbitration Eligible (AE) period is upon each of the 30 teams to players who have had three years of service. The Cardinals still have five players yet to be signed that are arbitration eligible. And, usually, a one year contract is negotiated. First year AE, pitchers CarlosMartinez, Michael Wacha and Kevin Siegrist. Second year AE, pitcher Trevor Rosenthal and 1B Matt Adams.
Pitcher Carlos Martinez, first year arbitration eligible, one of five Cardinals to file contract consideration. Monday, January 2, 2017 was the deadline for AE players to file.
The past Monday, January 2, 2017, was the deadline for AE players to file, with their respective teams, salary considerations. Today is the deadline for a team to counter offer.
Last season, Cardinals fans expected closer Trevor Rosenthal to be inked with an extension. His 2014/2015 seasons with 45/48 saves, respectively. Surprisingly, it did not happen. Surprisingly, 2B Kolton Wong in his first year AE was extended with a 5 Yr/$25.5 MM contract. Rosenthal sustained injury this past season and Wong, defensively sound, did not produce at the plate as expected. Money well spent, time will tell if the adjustments Wong supposedly is making this off-season will give him an offensive "break-out" season in 2017.
This season, out of the five Cardinals players arbitration eligible, fans are waiting to hear that an extension has been inked with starter Carlos Martinez. Last season he was the heart of the Cardinals rotation. Closed 16-9/3.04 ERA with 174 strikeouts. In 2015, 14-7/3.01 ERA with 184 strikeouts. Since this is his first year of eligibility, an extension would be a minimum of three years to take him out of the AE negotiations for the next three seasons. However, I would look for a five year to delay his free agency as is set in 2020, currently. He is consistent, solid, firey, and the only one of the five that is worthy, in my opinion. He has the potential to be Cardinals new "Ace" on the hill. Of course, the bottomline will be the money. To me, 5 Yr/$25-$35 MM would be in the ballpark of a "fair deal", with graduated monies, throw in a team option for year six, maybe seven. Not enough? Give me your timeline and figures. Being a controlled salary for the past three seasons, last season Martinez earned $539,000.
Since today is the deadline for teams to counter offer to those who have filed, look for negotiations to heat up between now and mid-month, with signed contracts in place. Look for one year deals for Cardinals Wacha, Siegrist, Rosenthal and Adams. The Arbitration Hearings don't begin until January 30, 2017 and will go through mid-month of February. The last Cardinals attended the hearings was in 2013 with David Freese.