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Changes in Cardinals Winter Warm-Up Autograph Prices for 2016

Preliminary autograph details for the 2016 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 16 through Monday, January 18.

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.

There is considerable shake up in last year’s Big Six. Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday remain, but Jason Heyward has left the team and Yadier Molina and Michael Wacha are not listed on the 2016 WWU roster. Oddly, there is a note that Molina tickets are limited to one per person, so perhaps he will join later. New additions to the top tier of pricing for 2016 are Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong.

Those in the middle tier of autograph prices earning an increase for 2016 include Carlos Martinez, Randal Grichuk, Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Piscotty. A signature from injured Lance Lynn will cost just half its 2015 price.

Along with Molina and Wacha, other noticeable absentees include Jaime Garcia, who often passes on the event, and reliever Jordan Walden. Also surprisingly absent are new free agent signees Mike Leake and Brayan Pena. Less surprising are the no-mentions for reliever Miguel Socolovich and Rule 5 addition Matt Bowman.

Of course, these and others may still join the lineup between now and the event.

Top dogs 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Adam Wainwright $100 $90 $80 $50 $50 $45 $50 $60 $80 Staff’s clear leader is one of the most popular Cardinals
Matt Holliday $75 $75 $75 $75 $75 $100 $100 Consistency in play on the field and in autograph prices
Matt Carpenter $60 $50 $40 $15 free Keeps getting better and better
Kolten Wong $50 $40 $15 Joins the big boys in $50 and up price
Middle of the pack 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Trevor Rosenthal $45 $45 $35 $15 Perhaps most unheralded star of 2015 team
Mike Matheny $40 $40 $40 $30 $30 $10 $10 Four years as manager, four playoff appearances
Carlos Martinez $35 $25 $30 To build on breakout 2015
Randal Grichuk $35 $20 free Next great power bat hope
Jhonny Peralta $35 $30 $25 All-star first half in second year with Cards
Stephen Piscotty $35 $5 free Huge jumpstart to banged up 2015 team
Matt Adams $25 $25 $20 $5 $5 Looking for health and a way to beat the shift
Lance Lynn $20 $40 $20 $15 Signing left-handed explains lower price
Value picks 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Marco Gonzales $15 $15 2014 minors Pitcher of the Year looking for rebound
Kevin Siegrist $15 $15 $15 Led NL with 81 relief appearances
Tommy Pham $10 free Outfielder finally made impact in bigs
Jonathan Broxton $10* * Unable to attend. Pre-signed balls only.
Seth Maness $10 $10 $10 $5 Another highly-used reliever
Tyler Lyons $5 $5 $5 Will the lefty start or relieve?
Jedd Gyorko $10 New utilityman acquired from Padres
Brandon Moss $5 One of the biggest X factors on 2016 team
Bill Mueller $5 $5 Replaced Bell as assistant hitting coach last year
Tim Cooney $5 free Good first impression before appendectomy
Sam Tuivailala $5 $5 Hard-thrower should be back in majors soon
Greg Garcia $5 free free Returning to utility infielder battle
Mitch Harris $5 Looking for a spot in the back of the pen
Future Cardinals? 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Charlie Tilson $5 free 2nd round OF from 2011 draft had strong AA campaign
Dean Anna free free Former Yankee held his spot on 40-man roster
Carson Kelly free Minor league catching Gold Glover
Dean Kiekhefer free Lefty reliever added to 40-man roster
Austin Gomber free Co-Pitcher of the Year for organization
Michael Ohlman free 40-man roster catcher to make AAA debut
Arturo Reyes free Former 40th-rounder quietly advanced to Memphis
Jacob Wilson free Led system in home runs, tied for #1 in RBI
Patrick Wisdom free Third baseman had ups and downs in 2015
Luke Weaver free 2014 first-rounder pitched in Arizona Fall League
Missing in action? 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Yadier Molina $100 $100 $75 $75 $90 $75 $100 $90 Participation is always a hit-or-miss matter anyway
Michael Wacha $70 $70 $5 Had strong 2015 before late season fade
Jaime Garcia DNA DNA $20 $25 $15 free Great season ended badly in NLDS flu game
Jordan Walden $10 Big health question won’t get answered here
Mike Leake Free agent starting pitcher signed five-year deal
Brayan Pena Replacing Tony Cruz behind Molina
Miguel Socolovich Unheralded relief man
Matt Bowman Rule 5 pitching addition from Mets
Later additions 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Yadier Molina $125 $100 $100 $75 $75 $90 $75 $100 $90 Limit one ticket per customer
Michael Wacha $70 $70 $5 Had strong 2015 before late season fade
Mike Leake $40 Free agent starting pitcher signed five-year deal
Brayan Pena $10 Replacing Tony Cruz behind Molina
Jaime Garcia TBD DNA DNA $20 $25 $15 free Great season ended badly in NLDS flu game

Here are some other interesting and important groupings.

Six Cooperstown Hall of Famers continue at the $75 amount – Red Schoendienst, Whitey Herzog, Tony La Russa, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Ozzie Smith, though the latter three are not scheduled to attend in person.

Former Cardinals shortstop David Eckstein joins the signees for 2016, but in a major surprise, will be fetching $100 per signature. Tim McCarver (pre-signed balls only) and third base coach Jose Oquendo are welcome additions.

The list of those Cardinals who have moved on from last year is quite long – 14 names to be exact.

Hall of Famers 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Red Schoendienst $75 $75# $75 $75 $75 $75 $75 $75 $60 A true treasure
Whitey Herzog $75 $75 $75 $75 $75 $60 $60 $40 $50 One of the most popular – for good reason
Tony La Russa $75 $75 $75 $40 $40 $30 $30 $30 $30 His job is with Arizona, but still loved in StL
Bob Gibson $75* $75* $75* $125 * Pre-signed balls for sale only
Lou Brock $75* $75* $75 $75 $100 * Pre-signed balls for sale only
Ozzie Smith $75* $75* $75* Too bad The Wizard stays away
Ex-Cards players 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
David Eckstein $100 Wow! Highest price signature with Wainwright
Tim McCarver $25* * Pre-signed balls for sale only
Mike Shannon $25 $20 $10 $10 $10 Joined team Hall of Fame in 2014
Jose Oquendo $10 Good to see him signing
John Mabry $5 $5 $5 $5 free Former player and current hitting coach in one!
David Bell $5 $5 Second year as bench coach coming
Moved on 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 Commentary
Jason Heyward $60 Free agent joined Cubs
John Lackey DNA Him, too
Jon Jay $25* $20 $20 $20 $10 Traded to San Diego
Peter Bourjos $20 $20 Moved to Philadelphia on waiver claim
Matt Belisle $10 Free agent
Mark Reynolds $10 Signed with Colorado
Pete Kozma $5 $5 $10 free free free Minor league deal with Yankees
Sam Freeman $5 $5 $5 free Traded to Texas last spring
Xavier Scruggs $5 Minor league deal with Marlins
Randy Choate DNA DNA $5 Free agent
Tony Cruz DNA $5 $5 $5 Traded to Kansas City
Nick Greenwood free Minor league free agent
Ty Kelly free Released last summer
Cody Stanley free Non-tendered after suspension

Finally, those who will be signing for free, along with the Future Cardinals listed before, follow. This alumni list is shorter than in years past, but again, others could join later.

Alan Benes Andy Benes Danny Cox Rick Horton
Al Hrabosky Tom Lawless Kyle McClellan Kerry Robinson
Jason Simontacchi Brad Thompson
Glenn Brummer Scott Cooper John Costello Ken Dayley
Rich Hacker Cliff Politte Stan Royer Ted Savage
Mike Tyson

As always, the proceeds go to charity, Cardinals Care, so the needy are the true winners. Autograph tickets will go on sale online at at 10 A.M. on Tuesday, January 5. Each individual typically signs for just two hours on one of the three days only, so check the schedule before buying your tickets.

The 20th Annual Winter Warm-Up, a three-day event, will take place on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. weekend; Saturday, Sunday and Monday, January 16-18, 2016. Three-day event passes are already on sale for $40 for adults and $10 for children 5-15 years of age, same prices as the last five 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 or at the event.

For full WWU information, including signing schedules (when announced) and ticket ordering, follow this link.

January 4 Update

With autograph tickets set to go on sale on Tuesday, January 5, a number of additions have been made to the roster of signees. All changes have been made to the tables above, but here is a summary.

Adjusted: Jedd Gyorko from $5 to $10.

Additions: Yadier Molina $125, Michael Wacha $70, Mike Leake $40, Brayan Pena $10.

Free additions: Glenn Brummer, Scott Cooper, John Costello, Ken Dayley, Rich Hacker, Cliff Politte, Stan Royer, Ted Savage, Mike Tyson.

January 13 Update

Jaime Garcia was a late add to the roster, but his tickets sold out before I learned the price.

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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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2 Responses to “Changes in Cardinals Winter Warm-Up Autograph Prices for 2016”

  1. blingboy says:

    The huddled masses perceive Our Cardinals as notoriously secretive. But the hip and savvy among us anxiously await that first glimpse of hard data from which those possessed of the tools and talent can glean much about the state of things and the year ahead. I employ various proprietary statistical tools which I call blingstats and which are widely refereed to in abbreviated form as BS, to save keystrokes, presumably.

    It is obvious, even to those possessed of the meanest understanding, that WWU autograph pricing data dovetails in delectable matrimony with the Official Depth Chart provided on the Cardinals Official Site. We can then apply beer equivalency analysis to produce a player’s Beer Equivalency Analysis Number (BEAN), which is the mother of all BS. (In the interest of avoiding math, which is for dweebs, we reckon the price of a Busch Stadium beer at $10.)

    I notice right off the bat that Moss is worth half a BEAN, yet is slotted above 2 1/2 BEAN man Adams on the 1B depth chart. That will never stand. We are forewarned to look for something to give in this area.

    Notice also that the apparent starting OF, Holliday, Grichuk, Piscotty, is worth 13.5 BEANS, while last year’s, Holliday, Jay and Heyward, were worth 16. Ominous, but Jay, in a preview of things to come, was a WWU no-show, so we can dismiss his 2 and a half BEANS, leaving 13.5, the same as last year. Mo has somehow managed to solve the OF crisis by not signing anyone, including the right fielder. That is the stuff of legend.

    As a final thought, notice the bench is a cumulative 2.5 BEANS, as compared to 3.5 just for Bourjos, Reynolds and Kozma last year. If you are not worth BEANS you are gone. Fair warning given.

    Thank you to the unBEANworthy signing for free this year.

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