BIZ OF THE BIRDS: 2013 Cardinals Dollars…and Sense

Posted: November 26, 2012 by The Cheap Seat Fan in MLB
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Money is the motive in the winter for Major League Baseball. It’s all that’s discussed and the only thing matters. The price of a player is more important than his actual talent in many cases, and the market is set based on this perceived value. But before any individual figure can be counted, knowing what’s in place already is the key.

To understand where the St. Louis Cardinals are headed, understand where they are already. Below are the full salary figures in place for the club today, as free agency has gotten underway. In 2012, the team’s total payroll was roughly $111,858,500, which stood as the 9th highest in the MLB. This was the highest annual payroll the team has ever paid out, and a $2 million dollar increase from the year before.

The two major subtractions from the 2012 roster are Kyle Lohse ($12.1M) & Lance Berkman ($12M), both of whom will not be back with the team, for financial reasons. While that removes $24 million from the previous year total, there are rising costs that will eat that difference. Yadier Molina’s new $76 million contract will begin to pay out this season, with an increase of $7 million annually. In addition, Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter and Rafeal Furcal will see a total increase of $8 million total to their respective deals. Add in raises in arbitration deals, and the Cardinals overall payroll range has changed much, despite taking two big money deals off the board.

Take note of the deals that are also expiring after the 2013 season, which will open up a considerable amount of payroll and roster room. Some most likely would not be renewed (such as Beltran, Furcal and potentially Carpenter), but in the case of Wainwright, there will be a significant rise in a new deal, that could rival the Matt Holliday annual figure.

But that’s all speculative, and below are the facts. Here is a breakdown of the Cardinals’ current payroll on MLB level contracts, and a bit of a read out of what the potential roster both looks like and could manage to add, within reason.


Molina’s new contract kicks in this year, making him the second highest paid player on the roster behind Matt Holliday.

Current Non-Arbitration Roster Salaries

Matt Holliday: $17 million (3 years, with $51M remaining + 1 option of $17M for ‘17)

Yadier Molina: $14 million (4 years, with $58 million remaining + 1 option of $15M for ’18)

Carlos Beltran: $13 million (Final season)

Adam Wainwright: $12 million (Final season)

Chris Carpenter: $12.5 million (Final Season)

Jake Westbrook: $8.75 millon (+1 option of $9.5M for ’14)

Rafael Furcal: $7.5 million (Final Season)

Jaime Garcia: $5.75 million (2 years, $17M remaining + 2 options of $11.5 & $12M for ’15 & ’16)

Skip Schumaker: $1.5 millon (Final Season)

COMMITTED 2013 PAYROLL: $92 Million


Arbitration Cases (Estimates via

Jason Motte: $4.7 million (Arbitration 2, free agent in 2015)

Edward Mujica: $3.2 million (Arbitration 3, free agent in 2014)

David Freese: $2.6 million (Arbitration 1, free agent in 2016)

Mitchell Boggs: $1.3 million (Arbitration 1, free agent in 2016)

Marc Rzepczynski: $900,000 (Arbitration 1, free agent in 2016)



Motte stands to get a nearly $3 million raise in his second arbitration year after tying for the NL lead in saves.


Pre-Arbitration Players (Players on MLB minimum deals)

Jon Jay: $504,000 (under team control until 2017)

Fernando Salas: $498,000 (under team control until 2017)

Allen Craig: $495,000 (under team control until 2017)

Daniel Descalso: $495,000 (under team control until 2017)

Lance Lynn: $482,000 (under team control until 2018)

Tony Cruz: $481,000 (under team control until 2018)

Matt Carpenter: $480,000 (under team control until 2018)

Shane Robinson: $480,000 (under team control until 2018)



Players Due on Minor League Minimums on the 40 man roster is due at $67,300 per year. Only active if promoted to the MLB and subject to promotion to prorated 25 man roster date. Players that would be due this would be players with less than a full year of MLB service time. None of these contract figures are assessed in the team total, due to them not being set on the 2013 roster yet, and still having minor league options. This includes players such as Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal and Adron Chambers.

TOTAL 2013 PAYROLL (Pre-Arbitration Estimate) CURRENTLY: $108.61 million (22 players)



For more on the daily dealings of the Cardinals, and basically anything of substance I can pull from the cruel baseball-less winter, follow me on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.


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