Jon Jay remains without a salary

Over the last 36 hours the news has come flying. The Cardinals had four arbitration eligible players to resolve. First it was Lance Lynn agreeing to a 3 year, $22 million deal. Then it was Tony Cruz avoiding arbitration for $775,000. This morning Peter Bourjos joined the club, agreeing to a 1 year deal for $1.65 million. The only one that hit this afternoon’s deadline unsigned was Jon Jay.

Now lets be clear about what this means and doesn’t mean because I’ve seen a lot of tweets today expressing regret that Jay wasn’t signed and how he needs to be brought back. The lack of a deal doesn’t mean that he isn’t still a Cardinal. He is still under team control and will be a Cardinal in 2015. The only thing left to be determined is what he will be paid.

Once a player completes his first three years of team control at the minimum salary, he enters his arbitration years. Today’s deadline was simply the day that both sides exchange figures. Basically Jon Jay tells the Cardinals what he thinks he’s worth and the Cardinals tell Jon Jay what they think he’s worth. They’ve probably already done it through the course of negotiations. [click to continue…]

Cardinals acquire IF Ty Kelly

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired infielder Ty Kelly from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for RHP Sam Gaviglio. Kelly has been added to the Cardinals’ 40 man roster, which will protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Today was the last day to add players to the 40 man roster to protect them ahead of December’s Rule 5 Draft.

Kelly, 26, was a 13th round pick by Baltimore in the 2009 draft from UC Davis (notably, the same school that Daniel Descalso played his college ball). A switch hitting infielder, Kelly has appeared at every position except catcher in his minor league career, playing mainly second and third bases.  Last season in Triple-A, Kelly posted a line of .263/.381/.412 with 15 home runs in 134 games.

Kelly would interest the Cardinals for a few reasons. First is that high on base percentage, which is over 100 points higher than his batting average for his minor league career. Second is that he says that Matt Carpenter is one of his baseball heroes. Third is that he hit 14 of his 15 home runs from the left side of the plate last season. [click to continue…]

Rumor Check: Peter Bourjos

Over the past few days I’ve seen more than one mention that the Minnesota Twins are interested in acquiring Peter Bourjos. That is of note because last summer there was some reported trade interest from the Twins to acquire Jon Jay. With a beat writer even venturing to throw out some possible returns for the Cardinals in such a deal.

Trading Bourjos does seem to make sense. John Mozeliak talked about getting an idea of the trade value of a few players and Bourjos was one of them, but I still think that keeping Bourjos in St. Louis makes the most sense for the Cardinals, at least for one more year. And that’s not just me having fantasies of a Jay-Bourjos-Heyward outfield, even if it’s just once.

Bourjos is projected to receive a raise to $1.6 million in arbitration this offseason according to Matt Swartz’s numbers at MLB Trade Rumors. Internally there isn’t really an obvious replacement for the bench role that Bourjos would have either. Keeping Bourjos means that four of the five outfielders expected to be on the Opening Day roster could play all three outfield positions. I like that kind of versatility. [click to continue…]

Rumor Check: Jon Lester

Jim Bowden suggested on Twitter last night that the St. Louis Cardinals have joined the pursuit of free agent LHP Jon Lester. He cited a “club source.” The other clubs that are reportedly already in the running are the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Atlanta Braves.

This would certainly contradict the notion that after yesterday’s acquistion of Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden that the Cardinals would be done with major moves. Does John Mozeliak have something else up his sleeve?

Bowden says that such a deal would make sense after trading Shelby Miller to the Braves. But lets dig into that a little bit, shall we? [click to continue…]

Cardinals kick off their offseason

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired RF Jason Heyward and RHP Jordan Walden from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for RHP Shelby Miller and RHP Tyrell Jenkins. It was certainly a big deal for both sides, especially for the Braves who have a new GM and was looking to some moves and shake things up a bit on a team that has fallen short of expectations the last few years.

For the Cardinals, I already wrote about their two biggest needs this offseason being right field and the bullpen. John Mozeliak continued his string of smart moves and fixed both problems with a single move.

The headlining acquisition of the trade is Jason Heyward. At just 25, he’s coming off a year where he won the Gold Glove in right field. His batting average (.271) and on base percentage (.351) were the highest they’ve been since his rookie year, but his slugging percentage (.384) and just 11 home runs in 149 games stands out as lacking. [click to continue…]