Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty won his arbitration case, a source told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand on Saturday, in Flaherty's first year through the process. He’ll earn a salary of $3.9 million for the 2021 season.
The club has not confirmed the arbitration result.
The Cardinals countered Flaherty’s $3.9 million at $3 million; it was the first time the organization has gone through the full arbitration process since Michael Wacha in 2017, and just the second time since 1999. The Cards won the Wacha hearing.
Players with between 3-6 years of service time are eligible for the arbitration process, which allows players and clubs to exchange proposed salary figures for the upcoming season if they do not reach an agreement. A panel of arbitrators then hears arguments from each side and decides which of the two figures to award the player, typically based on player stats.
Flaherty’s $3.9 million salary is a raise from the $604,500 he earned in 2020, which was prorated due to the shortened season. The right-hander’s past two salaries have been imposed by the Cardinals, since the two sides were not able to agree on terms. Salaries during service years 0-3 are typically at the league minimum (which in 2020 was $563,500), or slightly above that.
Flaherty, 25, is arbitration-eligible through the 2023 season. Going forward, the two sides are free to come to a multi-year agreement that either fulfills his remaining arbitration years or reaches further.
Flaherty will be looking for a return to form in 2021 after a tough go in the pandemic-shortened season. He compiled a 4.91 ERA across nine starts before turning in a one-run performance over six solid innings and adding eight strikeouts in Game 3 of St. Louis' 4-0 Wild Card Series loss to the Padres. In the two seasons prior, Flaherty was 19-17 with a 3.01 ERA, striking out 10.7 batters per nine innings.
Pegged as the No. 1 starter heading into Spring Training, Flaherty will be followed in the rotation by Adam Wainwright, Kwang Hyun Kim, Miles Mikolas and an open competition for the fifth spot.