Though it's been more than a month since the Cardinals tendered contracts to the arbitration-eligible players they wished to retain, all five of those players remain unsigned as arbitration hearings loom later this month.That's not an unusual pace for the organization, which prefers to complete the bulk of its transactions
Though it's been more than a month since the Cardinals tendered contracts to the arbitration-eligible players they wished to retain, all five of those players remain unsigned as arbitration hearings loom later this month.
That's not an unusual pace for the organization, which prefers to complete the bulk of its transactions and roster movement before turning its attention more fully to wrapping up these arbitration cases. A flurry of signings could come soon, however, as teams must exchange proposed salary figures with any unsigned arbitration players on Friday. That typically stimulates activity.
Arbitration hearings, which are necessary only in the case where a player and team can't mutually agree on the value of a one-year contract, would begin on Jan. 30 and continue through the first half of February. The Cardinals last went to an arbitration hearing in 1999.
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So with these cases taking precedence on the Cardinals' current to-do list, here's a look at the individual situations still left for the Cardinals to settle:
• Trevor Rosenthal (4 years, 58 days service time): Rosenthal won't see as much of an increase as he did a year ago when, as a first-time arbitration-eligible player, his salary jumped from $535,000 to $5.6 million. He's coming off a season plagued by injury and ineffectiveness and finished with 14 saves after averaging 47 in each of the two previous years. Thought to be a candidate for a multi-year extension last winter, Rosenthal will have to settle for a one-year agreement now.
• Matt Adams (4 years, 33 days): Adams is due for another raise after making $1.65 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Like Rosenthal, he's coming off an underwhelming year and won't be a candidate for a long-term deal this offseason. He's slimmed down significantly since the season ended, but he projects to enter 2017 as a bench player now that Matt Carpenter is penciled in as the team's starting first baseman.
• Kevin Siegrist (3 years, 116 days): Siegrist has cemented himself as the club's most reliable setup reliever, and that'll provide him a nice payday now that he's arbitration-eligible. His 45 holds from 2015-16 rank sixth among all National League relievers, and Siegrist is earmarked for the same role next season. Even though closers tend to do better in arbitration than setup relievers, Siegrist will see a hearty raise after earning $539,000 in 2016.
• Carlos Martinez (3 years, 73 days): Martinez, who anchored the Cardinals' rotation while making $539,000 last year, will receive the biggest percentage increase in salary of anyone on this list. He's also the likeliest candidate to engage in multiyear contract discussions with the organization. Martinez positioned himself among the most accomplished first-time arbitration-eligible players by going 30-16 with a 3.02 ERA and 1.253 WHIP in 62 games (60 starts) over the last two seasons.
• Michael Wacha (3 years, 62 days): Wacha has an undefined role entering 2017, but he's going to see a significant salary bump regardless after earning $539,000 in his fourth big league season. He's posted a 3.74 ERA over his career, which includes a 17-win season in '15. As for the upcoming campaign, Wacha will enter camp seeking to prove he's healthy after enduring shoulder troubles two of the last three seasons. Whether he fits in the rotation or bullpen will be determined by how things shake out this spring.
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.