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

2014 Cardinals Winter Warm-Up autograph prices

The preliminary autograph details for the St. Louis Cardinals Winter Warm-Up have been posted on the team’s official website. The three-day fan event – for which all proceeds go to charity – is held each January over Martin Luther King weekend. This year’s dates are from Saturday, January 18 through Monday, January 20.

In my annual just-for-fun endeavor, I look at rising and falling autograph prices from year to year. These values are set by someone within the Cardinals hierarchy, and apparently reflect at least some estimation of the expected supply and demand for the signatures.

Three Two of last year’s big four of Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, David Freese and Carlos Beltran are not participating in 2014. Joining Holliday among the top tier of current players at $75 or more are Adam Wainwright and 2013 rookie phenom Michael Wacha.

Three Cardinals Hall of Famers join them at the $75 amount – Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog and newly-named Tony La Russa.

Those in the middle tier of autographs earning an increase include manager Mike Matheny, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter, Trevor Rosenthal, Shelby Miller and Joe Kelly.

Noticeable absentees include Molina – whose attendance at the event has been more miss than hit anyway - Jaime Garcia, Lance Lynn, Randy Choate and newly-signed infielder Mark Ellis. (see update below)

Of course, those and others may still be added to the lineup between now and the event.

Top dogs 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Adam Wainwright $80 $50 $50 $45 $50 $60 $80 The staff’s clear leader and one of the most popular Cardinals.
Matt Holliday $75 $75 $75 $100 $100 Consistency in play on the field and in autograph prices.
Michael Wacha $70 $5 You should have gotten it last year when the price was right!
Middle of the pack 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Mike Matheny $40 $30 $30 $10 $10 Price increase to go with new contract after 2nd year as manager.
Allen Craig $40 $30 $30 $5 free Team leader in RBI despite late injury.
Matt Carpenter $40 $15 free Stock is rising in every way imaginable.
Trevor Rosenthal $35 $15 Not bad for a closer with just three regular-season saves!
Jason Motte $30 $30 $25 $5 $5 $10 Already a veteran of charity efforts.
Jhonny Peralta $25 One of the newest Cardinals has a lot of pressure on him.
Shelby Miller $25 $15 $10 free Could be the bargain autograph of the event.
Joe Kelly $25 $15 Priced like a starter without the sure job and just keeps delivering.
Value picks 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Jon Jay $20 $20 $20 $10 Steady in most measures, including autograph price.
Peter Bourjos $20 Though not replacing Freese directly, expectations are high.
Matt Adams $20 $5 $5 Big man, still a relatively small price.
Oscar Taveras $20 $10 The “next big thing” is another bargain autograph.
Daniel Descalso $15 $10 $10 free free A utility signer can fill in for a number of others!
Kevin Siegrist $15 An aggressive signing debut price for the valuable lefty.
Kolten Wong $15 Another bargain autograph for the second base leader.
Seth Maness $10 $5 I wonder if you get two signatures for one price?
Tyler Lyons $5 Lefty looking to find a spot to contribute again in 2014.
Shane Robinson $5 $5 free free free Does the speedy outfielder sign fast as well?
Tony Cruz $5 $5 $5 Even the Maytag repairman used to get autograph requests!
Pete Kozma $5 $10 free free free Price down as projected role diminishes, but sure-handed with marker.
Sam Freeman $5 $5 free The name is Free, but the autograph is not!
Future Cardinals? 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Keith Butler free Made his debut in the 2013 pen.
Eric Fornataro free Injury-limited 2013, but we could see hard-thrower in StL in 2014
Greg Garcia free Ready to take next step into utility infielder battle.
Missing in action? 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Yadier Molina $75 $75 $90 $75 $100 $90 WWU participation is always a hit-or-miss matter.
Jaime Garcia $20 $25 $15 free Disappointing he won’t be there to answer questions about his rehab.
Lance Lynn $15 Second year in a row he apparently will not be present.
Randy Choate $5 Still has two years remaining on that contract.
Mark Ellis Here is hoping the new infielder will be a late addition to event.

Here are some other interesting and important groupings.

Hall of Famers 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Red Schoendienst $75 $75 $75 $75 $75 $75 $60 Never take for granted one of the greatest ever.
Whitey Herzog $75 $75 $75 $60 $60 $40 $50 One of the most popular – for good reason.
Tony La Russa $75 $40 $40 $30 $30 $30 $30 Ready to be fitted for the red jacket.
Ex-Cards players 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Mike Shannon $10 $10 $10 Hopefully 2013 health problems are behind him.
Brian Jordan $10 $5 $15 Now broadcaster for the Braves.
John Mabry $5 $5 free Former player and current hitting coach in one!
Not signing 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Bruce Sutter $75 $100 Hall of Fame excitement has worn off.
Lou Brock $75 $75 $100 A most noticable absence.
Bob Gibson $75* $125 * Pre-signed balls for sale only last year.
Ozzie Smith $75* $75* * Pre-signed balls for sale only.
The departed 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Carlos Beltran $75 $75 Now a New York Yankee.
David Freese $75 $75 $5 free Will be missed by Cardinals fans.
Chris Carpenter $50 $50 $40 $50 $60 $75 Too bad he won’t be around, but not surprising.
Rafael Furcal $30 Did not attend last winter, anyway
Jake Westbrook $10 $10 $10 Will he retire or keep pitching?
Marc Rzepczynski $5 $10
Fernando Salas $5 $10
Mitchell Boggs $5 $5 $5 free
Barret Browning $5
Adron Chambers $5
Ryan Jackson $5
Edward Mujica $5

The list of those signing for free has been doubled from 10 in 2013 to over 20 in 2014. That group includes three 40-man roster players noted above in Keith Butler, Eric Fornataro and Greg Garcia.

Alan Benes Ernie Broglio Glenn Brummer John Costello
Danny Cox Ken Dayley Cal Eldred Ryan Franklin
Rick Horton Al Hrabosky Mike Jorgensen Tom Lawless
Cliff Politte Kerry Robinson Ted Savage Jason Simontacchi
Scott Terry Brad Thompson Bill Virdon

As always, the proceeds go to charity, Cardinals Care, so the needy are the true winners. Autograph tickets will go on sale online at cardinals.com at 9 A.M. on Monday, January 6.

The 18th Annual Winter Warm-Up, a three-day event, will take place on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend; Saturday, Sunday and Monday, January 18-20, 2014. Three-day event passes are $40 for adults and $10 for children 5-15 years of age, same prices as the last three years.

In addition, members of the military, police and fire departments with an active ID will receive one free adult pass which must be obtained in person at the Official Cardinals Team Store at Busch Stadium.

For full WWU information, including signing schedules and ticket ordering, follow this link.

January 2nd update

The Cardinals have added Molina and Ellis, representing opposite ends of the price spectrum. At $100, the superstar catcher is the new top dog, while the newly-signed second baseman is a bargain at $5. They join those for whom autograph tickets will go on sale on Monday, January 6.

Later additions 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Yadier Molina $100 $75 $75 $90 $75 $100 $90 Participation is always a hit-or-miss matter.
Mark Ellis $5 The new infielder is a late addition to the event at a nice price.

January 3rd update

Check  the official WWU site as signing times for all fee-autograph players have been announced, with the exception of Yadier Molina and Jhonny Peralta.

Other changes include the availability of Ozzie Smith pre-signed baseballs as updated above and the addition of Jack Clark to the former Cardinals list at $5.

The freebie list of prospects has been doubled with the addition of Randal Grichuk, Zach Petrick and Stephen Piscotty. On the old-timers list, Brad Thompson has been removed, with Kyle McClellan and Stan Royer coming on.

Future Cardinals? 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Randal Grichuk free Acquired from Angels in Freese trade.
Zach Petrick free Minors Pitcher of the Year.
Stephen Piscotty free Top outfield prospect after Taveras.
Ex-Cards players 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Jack Clark $5 $5 $5 $5 $5 $10 They’ll be no lawsuit talk, ok?
Former players 2014
Kyle McClellan free
Stan Royer free

January 4th update

Lance Lynn has joined the roster, scheduled to sign on Saturday. I had missed him in the 1/3 update.

Later additions 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Lance Lynn $20 $15 Returns after a year absence.

January 8th update

Chris Carpenter is the latest late addition to the autograph lineup. Tickets for a number of the most expensive autographs have already been sold out. So if this is your thing, don’t wait.

Later additions 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Chris Carpenter $50 $50 $50 $40 $50 $60 $75 I am guessing his post-retirement role will be ready to be announced.

January 9th update

Two former Cardinals from very different eras have been added. Donovan Osborne, who last pitched for St. Louis in 1999, is making his WWU debut. His signature is not free, though.

Ex-Cards players 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Donovan Osborne $5 First-timer status must be behind the charge.

Infielder Jermaine Curtis made his MLB debut with the 2013 Cardinals and joins the free autograph list.

Future Cardinals? 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Jermaine Curtis free Former 40-man player trying to fight his way back to the bigs.

January 17 update

Fresh off his winter ball success in the Dominican Republic, Carlos Martinez will be part of Sunday’s signing schedule. Due to the late addition, tickets will be on sale at the event only, not online.

Other current players shown on the official website as still having autograph tickets available to purchase at WWU are Tony Cruz, Daniel Descalso, Sam Freeman, Lance Lynn and Tyler Lyons, along with coaches Mike Matheny and John Mabry.

Later additions 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Carlos Martinez $30 Reporting to camp as a starter, but 2014 role unclear.

Remember to check the official WWU site for signing times and to purchase autograph tickets.

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11 Responses to “2014 Cardinals Winter Warm-Up autograph prices”

  1. crdswmn says:

    I always find the no shows and the not signings interesting. Other places to be? Better things to do? Too
    good for the rabble?

    It’s a good thing it’s for charity, or they would probably have no one show up.

    I don’t go anyway, so it’s of little consequence to me.

    • Brian Walton says:

      As you could probably guess, the lists of non-participants are not announced by the team. I come up with them by noting those omitted. Some of them could still commit to join later.

      • crdswmn says:

        Does the team ever “announce” non-participants? I wouldn’t if I were them, because people would then expect an explanation as to why, and that could get awkward, I bet.

        I think most people have come to expect Yadi to be a no-show, the fact that he came last year was surprising to some.

        I’m not much for autographs, and I certainly can’t afford to pay for them, even if for charity (I wish I could). I wouldn’t mind having Waino’s autograph, but that ain’t happening.

        • Brian Walton says:

          Well, especially for high profile players like Molina, they have to an answer ready when the inevitable questions come. I doubt anyone will notice if Choate doesn’t attend, for example, but 2/5 of the projected rotation being missing can’t help but catch one’s eye. On the other side of the coin, it will be great to hear from Peralta and Bourjos. Always a lot of interest in the newcomers.

  2. blingboy says:

    First of all, the only price decrease is Kozma. Now at $5, compared to DD at $15. That, together with the shortstop depth chart on the official site (Peralta, Descalso, Kozma) should put an end to speculation as to which is circling the drain.

    Second, what to make of Shelby put a par with the never inadequatly shat upon Joe Kelly? Far behind Wacha.

    And Ernie Broglio but no Brock. The trade doesn’t look so good now, does it.

  3. Brian Walton says:

    Note the additions above of Molina and Ellis to those scheduled to appear and sign.

  4. Brian Walton says:

    Carlos Martinez is a late addition to the schedule. See details above. I am sure bling will notice that his autograph is $5 more than Shelby, so that must mean Carlos is ahead in the rotation race! Better change those depth charts ASAP! ;-)

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