ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals are assured of avoiding the arbitration courtroom this year after reaching agreements with all of their remaining unsigned players on Friday. In doing so, the clubs and players did not have to go through the process of exchanging desired salary figures for 2018.
A day after agreeing to terms on a one-year, $2.6 million contract with outfielder Randal Grichuk for the 2018 season, the club opened the day Friday still needing to finalize contract terms for outfielder Marcell Ozuna, starting pitcher Michael Wacha and reliever Tyler Lyons. All three ended up signing one-year deals, the values of which were not disclosed by the Cardinals.
According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, Ozuna's contract is worth $9 million. That represents a jump from the $3.5 million Ozuna made last year as a first-time arbitration-eligible player with the Marlins. His salary spike comes after Ozuna enjoyed a career year in which he slashed .312/.376/.548 with 37 homers and 124 homers. Ozuna also took home Silver Slugger and Gold Glove honors.
Wacha's salary will nearly double from $2.775 million to $5.3 million in 2018, reported Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Last year, Wacha had his case go all the way to an arbitration hearing in which the Cardinals prevailed. Wacha went on to pitch a full, healthy season and finished the year 12-9 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.358 WHIP.
Grichuk and Lyons both entered the offseason arbitration eligible for the first time. Grichuk, who made $557,200 in 2017, currently sits fourth on the Cardinals' outfield depth chart. In 442 plate appearances last season, he slashed .238/.285/.473 with a .758 OPS.
Lyons emerged as a key piece in the Cardinals' bullpen while earning $549,800 last year. He posted a 2.83 ERA and 1.093 WHIP over 50 appearances. Lyons also recorded his first three career saves.
Had any of the four players gone so far as to exchange figures with the team, the Cardinals were prepared to stick with a "file-and-trial" philosophy and try the case before an arbitration panel.