Cardinals Agree to Terms with 20 Pre-Arbitration Players

photo: Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

St. Louis Cardinals press release

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today (Saturday, March 9) that they have agreed to terms and signed one-year contracts for the 2019 season with 20 players.  The team also announced that it has renewed the contracts of pitchers Jack Flaherty and Jordan Hicks.

Agreeing to terms among the team’s 0 to 3 Major League service time players were pitchers John Brebbia, Génesis Cabrera, Giovanny Gallegos, John Gant, Austin Gomber, Ryan Helsley, Dakota Hudson, Mike Mayers, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Alex Reyes and Tyler Webb, infielders Yairo Muñoz, Drew Robinson, Edmundo Sosa and Ramŏn Urías and outfielders Harrison Bader, Adolís García, Tyler O’Neill, Lane Thomas and Justin Williams.

Brian Walton’s take

Jack Flaherty (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

This is the annual spring rubber-stamp one-year contract announcement for the 40-man roster players not yet eligible for arbitration.

Jose Martinez would also have been among this group had he not agreed to a two-year contract on February 23rd.

These players essentially have no choice but to take the salary as offered – if they want to play in 2019. The 20 named above, representing exactly half of the 40-man roster, accepted what the Cards were willing to pay them, as expected.

Jordan Hicks (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

In case you did not understand why Flaherty and Hicks are listed separately above, it is because they did not initially agree to accept the amount the team offered. Again, since they are not arbitration-eligible, they have no choice but to take their salary, but one must assume they are not happy about it. Both have prominent roles on the 2019 Cardinals with Flaherty firmly in the rotation and Hicks the potential closer.

Looking ahead, it would not surprise me for them to take the Cardinals to an arbitration hearing at their first shot, in two years – perhaps unless the club decides to make them an acceptable long-term offer before then.

(Note that one year ago, since-traded outfielder Tommy Pham was the Cardinals’ lone pre-arb player to be renewed.)

All minimum salary amounts are defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between players and owners, which is now into its third of five years. The minimum major league salary this season is $555,000, up from $545,000 in 2018.

Flaherty and Hicks are perhaps making a point for their Union that salaries for young standouts should increase in the next CBA, which will go into effect in 2022.

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