Allen Craig contract details: St. Louis Cardinals' long-term extension looks extremely team-friendly

Now he can buy a new bat! - Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals locked Allen Craig up for up to six years on Friday, including two very valuable years of free agency.

The St. Louis Cardinals announced a long-term contract extension on Friday, but it wasn't the Adam Wainwright deal everyone's slightly anxious about: It was a surprise attack on Allen Craig's arbitration years. The Cardinals locked up their starting first baseman on a five-year contract worth $31 million, with an attached club option that could take the deal through the 2018 season—in short, a contract a lot like the last Adam Wainwright deal. Here are the contract details, via Rick Hummel's report:

Year Value Buyout
2013 $1.75M Servitude
2014 $2.75M Arbitration
2015 $5.5M Arbitration
2016 $9M Arbitration
2017 $11M Free Agency
(2018) ($13M/$1M) (Free Agency)

In exchange for a nice raise today and some guaranteed money—not to be taken lightly for a guy who got an 8th-round signing bonus—the Cardinals have won themselves the right to sign free-agent-Allen-Craig, in the last years of his prime, to a one-year, $11 million contract with a $13 million team option. There's certainly a risk, here, but it's a tiny one—that Allen Craig is ineffective or not worth playing in the two years where he will be making real money.

That looks like a great deal today. By 2017 $11 million might not even look like real money. And that's why it's a really great deal. Allen Craig gets to think about what he's going to do with $31 million, and the Cardinals get to underpay for a guy who looks like an extremely valuable first baseman.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker