Ozuna’s Arbitration


Well before Marcell Ozuna reports for his first Spring Training as a Cardinal, he will have to start the potentially uncomfortable process of salary arbitration with them. Ozuna has quite a resume to boast, which is part of what made him so attractive to the Cardinals in the first place. He hit .312 with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs last year, giving him few comparables among second-time arbitration-eligible players.
My model projects a substantial raise for him of $7.4MM — all the way to a $10.9MM salary. This may be high, given the lack of exact historical comparables and the potential for an arbitration process to discount some of the home runs hit in a very high league home run environment (2017 set a record). That said, it still suggests that Ozuna is going to get a large raise anyway.

Jose Abreu had a comparable season, and his projection is accordingly similar. He hit .304 with 33 homers and 102 RBIs, making the primary difference in their cases the lower RBI total for Abreu. The White Sox slugger is projected for a $7.1MM raise instead of Ozuna’s $7.4MM, but he starts from a higher base salary and is therefore projected to land at $17.9MM.
No other players in the past five years have entered arbitration with the elusive .300/30/100 slash line. However, several players did so in the prior five years, including Jacoby Ellsbury in 2012 (.321/32/105), Josh Hamilton in 2011 (.359/32/100), Matt Holliday in 2008 (.340/36/137) and Miguel Cabrera in 2008 (.320/34/119). Those players got raises between $5.65MM (Ellsbury) and $3.9MM (Cabrera), although both Hamilton and Holliday got raises above $5MM, thus making Cabrera the exception.
It seems quite likely that Ellsbury, with 39 stolen bases to Ozuna’s one stolen base, would have a better case. However, the fact that Ellsbury’s case is six years old could put them closer together and could even put Ozuna and Abreu ahead. One thing that is important to note is that only Ellsbury got a one-year deal. The other raises mentioned above are part of multi-year deals, which are usually not very applicable in arbitration cases (although they could be in this scenario with few comparables).
If we look for a player more recent, we might consider Manny Machado last year at .294/37/96. He got a $6.5MM raise and clearly looks like a relevant player. The home run environment difference in just one year is pretty limited as well.
The record raise for a second-time eligible hitter belongs to Chris Davis, who got a $7.05MM raise after his .286/53/138 campaign in 2014. That would probably compare favorably to Ozuna’s numbers because of the home run difference, but the four years’ lag could render that number stale and push Ozuna and Abreu above him after all, as the model predicts. However, I think it may serve as a ceiling, leaving Ozuna and Abreu south of theor projections and slightly south of Davis.
Charlie Blackmon hit .324/29/104 last season, but did so in Coors Field, so he might be seen as less impressive than Ozuna and Abreu. His $3.8MM raise is probably a floor, and perhaps not that close of one.
I think it may be more likely that Ozuna and Abreu both get raises somewhere around $6MM. The triad of players with .300/30/100 slash lines and raises over $5MM back in 2008-12 are probably floors, whereas Davis’ raise seems like a ceiling. If that proves true, Ozuna might end up around $10MM instead of closer to $11MM, and Abreu might end up closer to $17MM than $18MM.



Way to Go Pham!

Pittsburgh Pirates v St Louis Cardinals

There’s little precedent for Tommy Pham’s enormous breakout season at the age of 29, writes SB Nation’s Craig Edwards. Pham posted a roughly six-win season for the Cardinals (5.9 fWAR, 6.4 rWAR) last year on the strength of a .306/.411/.520 batting line through 530 plate appearances. However, he’d provided minimal value to the Cards over his first 136 games in the bigs after progressing slowly through the minor leagues. Edwards looks for historical context for Pham’s breakout, noting that there’ve been 48 outfielders with a WAR between five and seven in their age-29 season over the past 70 years. Of that group, only three — Jose Bautista, Ryan Ludwick and former Tigers outfielder Charlie Maxwell — broke out with as limited a track record as Pham. It’s an interesting look at a unique breakout season that also attempts to gauge how Pham will perform in 2018 and beyond.


Ozuna will appear at Winter Warm Up

cardsozuna The Cardinals announced that two of the team’s newest additions—outfielder Marcell Ozuna and right-handed pitcher Miles Mikolas—will both appear at the 2018 Winter Warm-Up event to be held January 13-15 at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch.
Autograph tickets for the two players will go on sale Friday, January 5 at 12:00 p.m. CT at cardinals.com/WWU and the Busch Stadium Box Office.  A Winter Warm-Up admission ticket is required to obtain player autographs at the event.  Mikolas is scheduled to sign on Saturday, January 13, while Ozuna is scheduled to sign on Sunday, January 14.
“We are excited to confirm the attendance of Marcell Ozuna and Miles Mikolas at this year’s Winter Warm-Up,” said Michael Hall, Executive Director of Cardinals Care and Vice President of Community Relations. “This will be the first opportunity for Cardinals fans to meet and get autographs from both players and we look forward to introducing the guys to Cardinal Nation.”
Every dollar donated for autograph tickets—as well as all proceeds from the Winter Warm-Up weekend—will benefit Redbird Rookies and charitable grants to other non-profit organizations that help kids.
Fans who order player autograph tickets online can pick up their autograph tickets at the Busch Stadium Box Office during regular box office hours or at the Ticket Booth and autograph ticket kiosks at the Winter Warm-Up.  Autograph tickets are the sole responsibility of the ticket purchaser and cannot be reissued, reprinted or refunded.  Player availability is subject to change.
For complete up-to-date details about player autograph dates, signing times, donation amounts and frequently asked questions, or to purchase admission or autograph tickets, visit cardinals.com/WWU.  #CardsWarmUp

Source: St. Louis Cardinals


An Interview with Adron Chambers

Here is a pretty cool early Christmas Gift for my readership. This is a pretty good  interview between YouTube Video Reporter Tyler Boronski and ex-Cardinal outfielder. The interview itself was taken during the 2016 season while Adron was playing for the independent Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League. It was taken place on the road at New Britain Stadium in New Britain. I also recommend checking out Tyler’s YouTube Channel “Tbautos512″


Cardinals Focused on Donaldson


With the Rays and Giants agreeing to a deal that will send Evan Longoria to San Francisco. Young infielder Christian Arroyo headlines the return, with veteran outfielder Denard Span going along with him to offset some of Longoria’s salary. Pitchers Stephen Woods and Matt Krook are also bound for the Tampa Bay organization. Well the Cardinals perhaps have some cause to believe the Blue Jays are willing to consider moving star third baseman Josh Donaldsonper Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He suggests there’s some indication from the Jays side that the team isn’t dead-set against a move if it brought back MLB pieces as well as prospect value. To an extent, the Toronto organization has something of the opposite problem that the Cards do: the former needs multiple assets while the latter is loaded with solid players but would like a few premium pieces. Dave Cameron of Fangraphs had posited this sort of scenario a few weeks back.

Carlos Martinez Helps Leukemia Patient


I just got this news this morning and was very moved to share this even though I am a cancer patient myself. This piece of news need all the attention it needs. God Bless you Carlos Martinez……

Camille Fernandez, 17, is being treated for Leukemia at Mercy St. Louis Hospital in Creve Coeur.

Fernandez arrived Sunday night and will soon begin chemotherapy with the goal of a bone marrow transplant in the near future.

Martinez and his Tsunami Waves foundation first met Fernandez a few weeks ago at a medical clinic the pitcher and former Cardinal great Albert Pujols were hosting.

Tsunami Waves Director Marisa Diaz said they were advised by doctors that Fernandez would not live long without a bone marrow transplant and the surgery could not be performed in the Dominican Republic.

“I told Carlos we had to do anything we can to help her and here we are a few weeks later,” Diaz said sitting next to Fernandez and Martinez in the lobby of Mercy St. Louis Hospital.

“Maria asked if we can help the family and I said, ‘Yes, of course.’ We are here to help a lot of people and a lot of families.” Martinez said. “When I saw the situation I just said, ‘Yes, of course. Let’s go, let’s do that because they need it, they need a lot of help.'”

According to the foundation, a number of St. Louis “Angels” pulled together to bring Fernandez and her family to Mercy. The family was transported to St. Louis thanks to Wings of Hope. Fernandez will be cared for by Dr. Rob Hansen of Mercy who was part of the medical clinic in the Dominican Republic where the foundation first met Fernandez. The foundation said other St. Louis doctors will also assist.

Diaz said the first step is to get through chemotherapy. If that goes well, Fernandez will have a bone marrow transplant. Fernandez’s sister was also flown to St. Louis because she’s a perfect match to be the donor.

Tsunami Waves posted information on its website on how you can help the Fernandez family:

“Here’s how you can get involved, we will be looking for donations of Men’s L- XL and Ladies M-L new or gently used winter clothing and donations of gift cards would be a blessing. If you would like to make a monetary donation to help with her medical expenses, you can do this on our website; www.tsunamiwavesfoundation.org. The St. Louis Cardinals have offered to be a central drop off location for donations at their administrative office at 700 Clark St, St. Louis, MO 63102″

Source: Ryan Dean

Cardinals Rule 5 Draft

In the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft, the Cardinals took two outfielders, Angel Moreno (Tampa Bay) and Jean Selmo (Arizona). They lost infielder Jacob Wilson, who was left available on the Class AA roster and taken by the Washington Nationals.

The Cardinals did not lose a player in the major-league portion of the Rule 5 draft, and they did not select one.

They went into the draft believing they had a full 40-man roster.

(Luke Gregerson had not yet been added as their 40th by the start of the draft, and trades involving Sandy Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra and Stephen Piscotty are set to be completed Thursday afternoon or later.)


Angel Moreno: Signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 for $188,000. Moreno’s value will primarily be dictated on the progression of his hit tool, but he displays a solid approach along with moderate barrel control. The defense is merely solid, but he will be able to stick in CF. The risk is high due to his age and lack of experience against stronger competition.

Average bat speed; loose wrists; moderate barrel control; minimal load; does not use bottom half; swing is balanced and quiet; ability to recognize spin is present; chases too many pitches out of the zone currently; showing ability to foul off bad pitches; needs to lay off more of these.

Below-average raw power; swing is linear and not conducive for in-game power; gap-to-gap hitter.

4.33 home to first; shows more speed in OF; agile; lacks a high-end second gear.

Efficient routes and reads; first step is accurate and instinctive; lacks high-end agility and speed.

Average arm strength; lacks carry from middle depth in CF; accurate throws.

Source: Derrick Goold