The Cardinals’ general manager has a few more tasks remaining before the team reports to spring training next month. One of the those is to complete contract negotiations with the two Cardinals eligible for arbitration, outfielder Ryan Ludwick and second baseman Skip Schumaker.
Even though the true deadline to complete a deal and avoid going through the arbitration hearings is the date of the hearings, in mid-February, the two sides will exchange figures on Tuesday if a deal is not reached before then.
Dan Horwits of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, who represents Ludwick, said Thursday he was neither optimistic nor pessimistic that a deal will be struck before Tuesday.
“We might, we might not,” he said. “It’s really no big deal.”
Horwits said he and the Cardinals have had some discussions, basically focusing on a one-year deal, but added that Ludwick, 31, is “not opposed” to talking about a multi-year deal “and the Cardinals know that.”
Last season was Ludwick’s first year being eligible for arbitration, and a contract was reached before the hearing date. Ludwick had asked for $4.25 million and the Cardinals offered $2.8 million, before the two sides settled at $3.7 million.
Ludwick’s offensive performance suffered a slight dropoff in 2009, when he hit .265 (down from .299 in 2008) with 22 homers (down from 37) and 97 RBIs (down from 113).
It is unlikely the Cardinals would offer him a lower salary than he earned in 2009, but the question will be how much of a raise they offer as opposed to what Horwits seeks for his client.
Schumaker is going through his first year of eligibility for arbitration, and should figure to receive a substantial raise from the $430,000 he earned in 2009. His agent, Matt Brown, was unavailable for comment Thursday.
Mozeliak confirmed Thursday night that he had been in talks with both agents, but said “it’s too early to say whether something will be done” before the exchange of numbers on Tuesday.
Source: Rob Rains