The Cardinals had four arbitration cases to deal with this offseason: Ryan Theriot, Skip Schumaker, Kyle McClellan, and Jason Motte. The Cardinals announced that they have non-tendered Ryan Theriot, agreed with Skip Schumaker on a new two-year contract, and have tendered contracts to Kyle McClellan and Jason Motte.
Theriot, 32, was acquired by the Cardinals last offseason to start at shortstop. However, following a disastrous start to the season, the team explored other options and brought in Rafael Furcal to play the position. Theriot also struggled to rebound with his bat as the team had hoped, putting up a line of .271/.321/.342 with 1 HR and 47 RBI in 132 games for the World Series Champions. He was in his final arbitration year, but will instead immediately become a free agent with a handful of teams already expressing potential interest in his services.
Schumaker, 31, agreed to terms with the Cardinals yesterday on a new two-year contract. The 2 year contract worth a total of $3 million is a good deal for the Cardinals. The former outfielder turned second baseman might be done as a starting player for the Cardinals though, as the team’s GM John Mozeliak has Daniel Descalso penciled in as the starting second baseman. Schumaker rebounded after a tough 2010 to post a line of .288/.333/.351 with 2 HRs and 38 RBI in 117 games.
McClellan, 27, and Motte, 29, were both tendered offers from the Cardinals.
McClellan spent time in both the rotation and the bullpen last season before developing arm fatigue near the end of the season. In 141 2/3 innings for the Cardinals, he posted a 4.19 ERA, making 17 starts and 26 relief appearances.
Motte established his place as the team’s closer down the stretch thanks to a lengthy scoreless inning streak through the summer. He posted a 2.25 ERA in 68 innings for the Cards, along with 9 saves during the season.
So what does “tendered offers” mean? It means that the Cardinals have told them they will be back for 2012 as they are both still under team control. The two sides will continue to talk to see if they can avoid arbitration hearings in February of next season. If not, both sides will determine a value and an arbitrator will determine who has the best value for the player. The Cardinals have rarely gone to arbitration hearings with their players in the DeWitt era, rather coming to an agreement with the players somewhere in between the two numbers.