Heading into Friday afternoon, the St. Louis Cardinals had 3 arbitration-eligible players left to sign for the 2014 season, and while they were able to reach mutually-bargained contracts with both Jon Jay and Peter Bourjos, there is still one player left without a contract.
Daniel Descalso, the only Cardinal not to settle, is asking for $1.65M. Team offers $930K.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 18, 2014
Utility infielder Daniel Descalso is the player who remains outstanding, and there is actually a sizable gap between the team’s offer of $930,000 and his desired salary of $1.65 million. Frankly, it’s a bit surprising that a player like Descalso would hold out for more money given his track record, and that alone would make most observers side with the team.
In 2013, the 27-year-old was actually worth negative WAR according to FanGraphs, as he hit just .238/.290/.366 with 5 home runs in 358 plate appearances. No one is under the assumption that Descalso is in the Majors because of his bat, but his defense was far below average at both 2B and 3B this season, and there isn’t much of a bankable skill for him to argue for in arbitration proceedings.
At any rate, there is still time for both sides to negotiate, and in the end, the Cardinals can certainly “afford” his $1.65 million salary should he win his case.