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Don’t assume quiet ahead because no Cardinals non-tenders

The St. Louis Cardinals have five players with between three and six years of major league service who were not already under contract for 2013. All five – relievers Mitchell Boggs, Jason Motte, Edward Mujica and Marc Rzepczynski, plus third baseman David Freese – are eligible to have their salary for next season decided via arbitration. Jaime Garcia would have joined them had he not already signed a long-term contract covering his arbitration-eligible years.

The first step with the five was on the Cardinals. The club needed to declare its intention to enter the process. Alternatively, the team had the right to not offer a contract – called non-tendering the player – making him an immediate free agent.

Clubs would do this if they fear the contract amount the player could earn via arbitration would be more than the team would like to pay.

In the case of the Cardinals’ five, all were reportedly offered contracts for 2013 by Friday night’s deadline of midnight Eastern. From that point forward, players and team remain firmly committed to one another. The only question that remains is how much the players will make next season.

The two sides will exchange amounts that indicate their respective views of what the player should be paid in 2013. Of course, the player will expect to earn more than the team will likely offer. If discussions between the two do not lead to an agreement by February, one of the two amounts will be selected by an arbitrator following a hearing at which each side presents its case.

Since 1999 marked the last time the Cardinals actually went to hearing with a player, a more peaceful resolution is a virtual certainty for all five.

Other than the actual salaries TBD, there is no suspense – or is there?

Despite the Cardinals’ non-eventful deadline, the non-tender date has created potential opportunity for them, as other clubs created instant free agents.

Useful players can be sometimes be found as a result. For example, this is how David Eckstein became a Cardinal, after the Angels non-tendered him during the 2004-2005 off-season.

So a new focus of Cardinals watchers pondering potential additions for the 2013 season should be on the non-tender list. Perhaps a left-handed reliever, a middle infielder or a right-handed outfielder with some punch can be found.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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7 Responses to “Don’t assume quiet ahead because no Cardinals non-tenders”

  1. Bw52 says:

    Lefty bullpen help still available
    Sean Burnett
    Rich Hill
    Will Ohman
    Randy Choate
    Tom Gorzelanny
    Mike Gonzalez
    Dana Eveland
    JP Howell
    Manny Parra
    Chris Seddon
    Joe Beimel
    Dan Schlereth

    Gorzelanny was non-tendered by Nats and should be picked up quickly.Schlereth was NTed by the Tigers and has injury concerns.His Dad was the cheapshot chop blocking OG from the Denver Broncos.Burnett was big dollars …………I think i read he turned down 3 million per year from Nats.
    Parra has injury issues.Beimel was bad in 2012.So was Ohman.If i recall Rich Hill was okay in 2012.JP Howell was okay.Choate is a LOOGY Eveland did decent in several roles with Baltimore.Whoever Mo gets it should help ease the load on Scrabble.

  2. Bw52 says:

    Some RH batting bench-role player options available who could be inexpensive.
    Jorge Cantu 1B-3B..spent 2012 in AAA ball..some power .30 yrs old
    Brandon Snyder 1B-3B-OF..non-tendered by Texas. .277 BA 3 HRs 26 Ks. 27 years old
    Conor Jackson 1B-3B-OF………..minor league FA…………career .271 BA in big leagues.spent 2012 in AAA. 30 years old
    Andy LaRoche 1B-3B-2B.Younger brother of Adam LaRoche.Spent 2012 in AAA.Has had big league times with Dodgers,Pirates.29 years old

    Jeff Baker INF 31 years old.Non-tendered by Tigers.RH hitting bench guy who can back up at 2B-3B.

  3. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    It seems the team is intending to trade a “young arm”. Skip will go. Possibly a multi- player deal bringing the Lefty they want. Maybe short stop depth. With two young center fielders in baseball, DG’s forced insinuation that Tavernas will be here in two years…………screams 3/5yr planning. Now that they have convinced everyone that they have a pitching surplus……… which is very dangerous….They will instinctively cull their hoard.,,,,,,,,,,,,, why………. if they start running into trouble, fans are going to what to shoot the whole clip……..that blows up the all 5yr planning….destroying equity/value………….. as they put a damper on Miller mid season, so they couldn’t be pressured to show him early……… they have to somehow move off there “surplus fantasy” should they be in 4th place come June………fans will just be holding that trigger down……….. Lohse will be on a first place team one way or another…..that may chaff a little bit ……….. Which arm though?????????? They tried to move move Kelly once……. do they go for that Shields contract again, buffering any Wainwright leverage? I do see a surprise …. no cash move coming …… but hey, I have insider information………….

  4. crdswmn says:

    Strauss is tweeting the Cards are interested in a recent non tender. Some notables:

    Tom Gorzelanny
    Manny Parra
    John Lannan

    All lefties. Lannan is a starter but could be a reliever. I am not crazy about any of them, but I guess have to accept that the Cardinals budget requires shopping out of the clearance bin.

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