the cards offered arbitration to suppan and mulder, nobody else. i'm surprised they didn't offer weaver as well; he's a Type B f.a., which means the cards could have gotten a 2d-round sandwich pick for him. there's only one element of risk in offering a player arbitration --- the player might accept the offer, and you could get stuck with a guy you don't want. but the cardinals apparently still do want weaver and will continue negotiating with him. (under the new collective bargaining agreement, the cards can still negotiate with weaver without limitation, despite denying arbitration.)
if weaver had accepted arbitration the cardinals could have had him on a one-year contract, which in this market would seem preferable to a longer one. if you can get weaver at $9m for one year instead of at $27m for 3 years, doesn't that minimize the club's risk?
both mulder and suppan are Type As, which means the cardinals will get the signing team's regular 1st- or 2d-round pick, plus a sandwich 1st-round pick. so they're gonna have 5 of the top 75 or so selections in the 2007 draft --- unless, of course, they re-sign either mulder or supps . . .
i'd rather have the draft picks.
Update [2006-12-2 10:55:16 by lboros]: correction --- mulder is a type B, as a couple of people pointed out in the thread. thanks for noting the error, fellahs. as a type B, mulder is worth a 2d-round sandwich pick, meaning an extra pick at the end of the 2d round, or in the range of the 90th overall selection. so the draft-pick harvest isn't quite as exciting as i described it above, but it's still not bad --- the cards will have their own 1st- and 2d-round picks; for suppan, the signing team's 1st- or 2d-rounder for suppan (depends on who signs him) and a 1st-round sandwich pick; and for mulder, a 2d-round sandwich pick for mulder.
i'd still rather have the draft picks than either supps or mulder at this point . . .