If you've turned on SportsCenter this week, you know it's been lousy with Mariano Rivera tribute stories.
The greatest closer of all-time is retiring after the season, and during the Yankees last homestand this week he received a much-deserved sendoff from the team and the fans.
In St. Louis, another player is most likely approaching his final regular season homestand as a Cardinal, but no one seems to even be talking about it...
Signed to a one-year, 3.15 million dollar contract this past off-season (to avoid arbitration), David Freese becomes a free agent when the Cardinals end their playoff run.
Here's what we know:
1) He's going to want more $$$ and he's going to want it for multiple years.
2) It seems like David Freese has been mega-famous for years. This is due to the fact that he kind of is. At least in St. Louis. But over the course of his Major League career, he's only made 4.47M dollars. Alex Rodriguez made that this past August.
3) The Cardinals, as far as we know, have not made David Freese a contract offer during the 2013 season, preferring to see how he'd perform. He's put up .261/ .375 SLG/ 8 HR/ 59 RBIs - about what'd you'd expect from a 3.15M player on a MLB team.
4) He's 30 now and will be 31 next season.
5) The Cardinals want to have Kolten Wong on the MLB roster for 2014. He can only play 2B. The Cardinals current 2B is having one of the best years a Cardinal middle infielder has ever had. He can also play 3B.
I don't think that you, even as a non-objective Cardinal fan, can object with. Age, salary and performance are what they are.
Can't be changed.
But everyone has been tippy-toeing around the elephant in the room... the 2014 Cardinals probably don't have room for David Freese unless he's willing to take a short, club-friendly contract.
The only leverage David Freese has is the cache of good will from an incredible 2011 post season and the fact he's a STL native.
Now no one's saying that Freese SHOULD leave. Or that we WANT him to leave.
Yet, as the Cardinals get ready to wrap the regular season up with 3 games against the Cubs, we know that the playoffs aren't usually the time teams and fans think about grand sendoffs.
Exits in the playoffs are like a bad car wreck... everything's going fine, until it isn't.
With a win tonight, the Cardinals will win the NL Central. The hard work has been done. And the best fans in baseball are going to have their last opportunity to reflect on 2013 before the real season starts.
If you think about it, give David Freese a little extra love if he does something good. Could be the last time you're in the stadium with him as a Cardinal.
I think Beltran will sign on for one more year unless we win the World Series this year. He wants a ring badly.
I agree with you in part but I don't think it would take that much to sign him. It's wishful thinking on my part but wouldn't it be nice to have the following lineup: Carpenter, Trout, Holliday, Craig, Tulowitski, Beltran, Molina, Wong, Descalso, with Jay, Adams, Robinson on the pine.
Trout will surely cost us more than Taveras but if we throw in another prospect then I think the deal would get done. Trout only made a little over 500k this year and I think a little more butter on the bread will get the deal done.
The Cards should go after Tulowiski and Trout. Give the Rockies Freese and Martinez, then give the LA Angels Taveras straight up for Trout.
DAVID IS A SO SO BALL PLAYER, THE WORLD SERIES MADE HIM A CARD HOUSE HOLD NAME AND HE HAS NOT LIVED UP TO IT, BUT WE KNOW HE HAS THAT ABILITY SO WHY NOT WORK WITH HIM, WONG HAS NOT SHOWED HE IS A MAJOR PLAYER YET, WE NEED A SS TO TAKE OVER AND WE THEN WOULD BE TEAM TO BEAT, I'VE BEEN A CARD FAN SINCE 1948 AND WE WILL DO WHAT WE NEED TO DO. THANKS PAT
Um... David Freese has 2 years of arbitration eligibility left... He may get traded or non-tendered, But he is NOT a FREE AGENT until AFTER the 2015 season... #FactsMatter
If October 2013 is anything like his October 2011, he gets signed to a 3 year deal between $15-$18 million from the Cardinals. If he doesn't, he will sign with the Padres or Marlins.
Put it this way, if he comes back we will have #12 in '13.
@tfh1957 Great lineup. Beltran's return is iffy. Cards would be in good shape for a few years with them.
@tfh1957 Trout would cost the Cards Taveras, PLUS Freese, PLUS Martinez, PLUS another top prospect. Even then, I think he'd be worth it. He's going to be an All Star for the next 18-20 years. The only problem is that we won't be able to afford him in 3-4 years, but at least we'd get a compensatory pick for him then.
YOU HAVE A GREAT DREAM THERE IF YOU CAN SHOW THEM HOW TO DO THAT I WOULD VOTE FOR YOU TO BE THEIR GM. THAT WOULD GIVE US A GREAT GREAT TEAM GO CARD'S I HOPE WE GET THE DODGER'S FOR THE FIRST ROUND
@tfh1957 LAA would want a LOT more than Taveras for Trout!
You are correct. And I could have phrased the thought better. But I don't believe the Cardinals will offer arbitration again and Freese will become a free agent. I think the Cardinals will take their chances that the market is soft for him and offer him a club friendly contract. Anything could happen. But I think Freese's time in STL is coming to a close... barring another monster playoff run. And even then, it might jack his number up too high. Thanks for reading.