Cardinals Settle with All Four Arbitration-Eligible Players

photo: Michael Wacha (Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Friday) that they have reached agreements on one-year contracts for 2018 with outfielder Randal Grichuk, pitcher Tyler Lyons, outfielder Marcell Ozuna and pitcher Michael Wacha, avoiding salary arbitration with all four players.  Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Grichuk, 26, belted 22 home runs last season, including six against the rival Chicago Cubs – the most of any player in 2017 – and his 153 extra base hits since 2015 are second only to Matt Carpenter (194) amongst Cardinals players.

Tyler Lyons (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Lyons, 29, made a career-high 50 appearances last season and ranked among National League left-handed relief leaders in ERA (2.83, 8th) and WHIP (1.09, 4th).  Lyons limited opposing left-handed batters to a .174 BA and right-handers to a .224 mark, striking out 34 pct. of the right-handers he faced.

Ozuna, 27, who joined the Cardinals last month in a trade from Miami, completed his second consecutive All-Star season last year, earning selection as both an N.L. Silver Slugger and Rawlings Gold Glove award winner.  Ozuna ranked 3rd in the majors with 124 RBI and ranked 3rd in the N.L. in home runs (37) and 4th in hits (191), while batting a career-best .312.   His .924 on-base + slugging pct. led all National League clean-up hitters.

Michael Wacha (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Wacha, 26, matched his single-season career high with 30 starts last season, while reaching double-digit wins (12) for the 2nd time in his career, going 12-9 with a 4.13 ERA in 165.2 innings pitched.  Wacha allowed just 17 home runs and fanned a career best 158 batters.   Wacha owns a career .600 winning pct. (45-30), including a 24-12 (.667) career mark at Busch Stadium III.

Brian Walton’s take

Well, that was fast and efficient! The arbitration process is working as intended. Once the two sides had to declare their respective final pre-hearing financial positions, which were due today, it likely enabled them to settle on a middle ground.

Grichuk’s $2.6 million deal had been disclosed on Thursday, but the others are new and welcomed news. The Cardinals and players will not have to endure any arbitration hearings for 2018.

The only remaining question is their salary amounts, but they will not be earth-shattering. Ozuna will lead the way.

This article will be updated when the financial information comes to light.


Ozuna will receive $9 million, Wacha $5.3 million and Lyons $1.2 million, per the Post-Dispatch.

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