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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Arbitration filing amounts by Cardinals Freese, Rzepczynski and Motte

Per CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler, arbitration figures for 2013 salaries exchanged on Friday between the St. Louis Cardinals and their three eligible, unsigned players are as follows.

Player Club Midpoint
David Freese $3.75 MM $2.4 MM $3.075 MM
Jason Motte $5.5 MM $4.5 MM $5.0 MM
Marc Rzepczynski $1.3 MM $0.9 MM $1.1 MM

The midpoint is listed as a likely compromise point for the two sides – if they can come to terms before arbitration hearings next month. Given the Cardinals have not participated in a hearing since 1999, odds remain high for prior settlements.

On Friday, two other eligible Cardinals pitchers, Mitchell Boggs and Edward Mujica, came to terms with the club on their 2013 contracts. More details here: “Cardinals Motte and Mujica avoid arbitration”.

To read further about the arbitration process and next steps, click here: “Cardinals, arbitration-eligible five prepare to exchange salary amounts”.

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42 Responses to “Arbitration filing amounts by Cardinals Freese, Rzepczynski and Motte”

  1. Nutlaw says:

    Seems like they are low balling Freese a bit.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Freese was injured during parts of 2009-11. 2012 is his first complete season in the majors.

    • CariocaCardinal says:

      The Cards pay big $ to consultants to figure out their offers. In arbitration, low-balling can only back fire on you.

      • Brian Walton says:

        I did not know they get external help on setting offer amounts. Do you recall where you read that?

      • JumboShrimp says:

        The Cards have expertise in calculating fair offers under arbitration. Agree with Carioca on this.

        • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

          Pshaw………………… they low ball everybody………. then they leap to the median like gentleman……. Cards beating a few hundred grand out of everyone ……………. I hope Freese takes them in to that hearing………… Motte too………… these guys don’t have a rep for setting the dogs on players…..do they?

          • CariocaCardinal says:

            Nope, if the were true low ball offers they’d get taken to arbitration and lose. Since that hasn’t happened in over 12 years it is pretty obvious they aren’t really low balling it.

            Would David Freese really be granted the highest salary ever for a first year arbitration guy? Doubt it. Freese’s problem is his injury history. They’ll probably settle in the middle but that doessn’t mean Cards low balled any more than Freese high balled. It is just the process.

              • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                Cardinals have a reputation for dealing with their contract issues…….one way or another……. if you think that they had no inclination of where Freese was coming from after their preliminary talks……….you are poorly informed…………… Freese did just what they did….. an extra .25 million in his own direction………. Both sides are talking tough…. likely .2 or 2.5 around the median. I say he goes for 3.3 …… they will offer 3……….. DeWitt has control over this. This is chump change for him……. They may sweat Freese right up to the Hearing room door. It used to be 45 minutes of butt chewing with a 20 minute rebuttal …….. everything is fair game………… 750 is a bunch of money to throw away. 3.75 is a damn good platform for the next go around. …….. DeWitt is thinking…there just chips….. I farted that much trading currency on the Asian exchange today.

                • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                  One clarification……..if DeWitt wanted a win here……….he would have come in at 2.75 and not budged an inch…………… he likely wins that arbitration contest with little sweat……… he is up to something.

        • Nutlaw says:

          I’d be willing to bet that they settle closer to Freese’s number in this one.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      Jason Motte has defied long odds and come a long way from a 19th round catcher in 2003. The Cards are rewarding him for a great 2012, ensuring he will make a huge pile of money in 2014. An extra $7MM in security is helpful for any pitcher, given the vulnerability to injury. We did not have to give Jason 2014 security, but we love to reward great performers.

      • Brian Walton says:

        We? My guess is the Cardinals would rather commit to $7 million for next year now rather than get stuck paying $8 or $9 million by waiting.

        • blingboy says:

          Given all the hot young arms, if the Cards need a $7M closer in 2014 things have gone horribly wrong.

          • crdswmn says:

            You put way too much confidence in hot young arms. Notoriously bad idea.

            • blingboy says:

              I think its likely we will need a $7M something else more.

              • crdswmn says:

                And BDW said the payroll will go up to accommodate bigger salaries.

                I don’t understand why people seem to think BDW doesn’t know how to run this team. He’s won two WS and 3 pennants since he bought the team. I trust him.

                • blingboy says:

                  Maybe he had more to do with signing Motte for two years than he did with signing Theriot to be the starting shortstop, but I doubt it. At least Motte will have some trade value when we need something else.

              • Brian Walton says:

                I don’t get this discussion at all.

                bb, would you non-tender Motte next season, letting him walk away for nothing? In my mind, that would be incredibly foolish. If not, then getting him locked up now at a reasonable price for 2014 is a solid business move by the Cards.

                If Motte pitches well, he will earn his money. If another, better closer candidate emerges in the interim, it would be easier to trade Motte with a reasonable contract for 2014 than a new club having to deal with the uncertainty of him being arb-eligible again next spring. With a good 2013 under his belt, it would cost more than $7 million for his 2014 services, I bet.

                Obviously, when the price of poker goes up dramatically in 2015, the game changes. In the meantime, I like the deal for the Cardinals.

                • blingboy says:

                  Well, really, I’m not against signing him for the second year for $7M, although I doubt it would have cost too much more to do it next winter. The only real advantage I can see is if there is a thought of trading him this year. Then having him locked in for 2014 would be a plus as you say.

                  My main point is that I can’t see why we would need to pay $7M for a closer in 2014, unless, as I said, a lot goes wrong with the youngsters.

                  I want to be clear that I’m not anti-Motte at all, 42 saves is spectacular, but I think we should have somebody to do it for cheap by 2014. Maybe nervous nellie will turn out to be right, but its not like I’m banking on just one guy to pan out.

                  • Brian Walton says:

                    Why limit your options? One year ago, I really thought Eduardo Sanchez had what it took to become the closer. Now, he has almost no chance of even making the team.

                  • blingboy says:

                    I don’t see it as limiting any option. The extra cost of waiting until next winter to sign Motte for 2014 would have been offset by the reduced exposure to injury between now and then. If healthy and productive, he could have been signed next winter, and retained if needed or traded. The Garcia situation illustrates the hazzard of trying to save a few bucks down the road. In the case of Motte, I can’t see the up side to having done so.

                    Of course, like I said, if the thought was he might get traded this year, then it makes sense, but with risk.

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      We will just have to agree to disagree. The simple bottom line for me is that Motte has greater value being signed for next year.

                    • blingboy says:

                      If the pen turns out like we all hope, the strong middle relief should give Motte a shot at exceeding 42 saves. 46 would put him right up there with Izzy, Smith and Sutter, and 100 career total. That would be sweet.

                    • Brian Walton says:

                      Another improvement target could be save percentage. He was at 85.7%, having blown seven opportunities. He also took five losses against four wins.

                    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                      Look closely at BD/MO………. look what they see as important……… they got beat in the bidding process…….. Motte would not take the median….. they didn’t want the hearing…….. what did the settle for? 4mill….. the 1 as a bonus…….they made their number….. he can make it up with incentives which are likely marginal…….no more the the .5 above he was asking for……… but what they got….was control….. and likely made a few bucks in 2014 if Motte is pitching well……..even if that involves trade equity…………. you guys watch the finer moves they make around this position for the next few years.

                    • CariocaCardinal says:

                      This makes me long for Pujols/Larussa/Fox/MLB conspiracy theory. At least they had a little imagination to them. Trying to make drama out of a what is basically a routine transaction reeks of desperation.

                    • WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

                      How stupid are you Brazil boy.?.?…… That contract wasn’t their MO………. The ONLY reason that it did not have at least an option yr………was the Motte was asking to much……..likely 10 plus for that third year……………….team option would have cost them a buyout…………. 3rd place team at best ….

                    • CariocaCardinal says:

                      Let’s contemplate Westie’s keen insight here – the Cards did not sign Motte for a 3rd year because he wanted too much money. DUH! Isn’t that why most payer’s aren’t signed? Who’s the stupid one here?

  2. blingboy says:

    I was happy to see that Shelley Duncan is getting a chance with the Rays. He had been looking like a serviceable extra with Cleveland, improving with the stick in 2010 and 2011, then falling off a cliff last year. Possibly due to the distraction of sad family issues.

    I haven’t been able to listen to much sports radio lately, so I don’t know if Chris has been able to work or if his health issue is keeping him off the air.

    Hopefully, the family will have some good news this year.

  3. WestCoastbirdWatcher says:

    Fox is not expected to use the rights in its Dodgers contract to match the Time Warner Cable offer.

    In November, News Corporation, Fox’s parent, gained a significant television foothold outside Los Angeles when it acquired 49 percent of the YES Network, the Yankees’ channel, with an option to buy up to 80 percent in three years.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/24/sports/baseball/dodgers-and-time-warner-cable-near-deal-for-tv-channel.html?_r=0

  4. Bw52 says:

    Somebody explain to me how Westy comes on here and insults people and not a word is written telling him to cool it? Selective enforcement?

    • Brian Walton says:

      Perhaps you are unaware of the history between those two posters. I wish they would both cool the extracurricular stuff and have told them so more than once. Fortunately, the discord does not appear to involve you.

  5. Brian Walton says:

    Scrabble has joined Motte in coming to terms. Freese is the only one remaining.

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