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A Trip to Arby's


Hello, everyone. I hope this Wednesday finds you all well.

I decided to put off beginning my look around the NL Central series again this week, seeing as how there is actual, somewhat interesting news to discuss, so it'll just have to wait. The arbitration offers are in, and the Cardinals made offers to three of their four compensation-eligible players. Holliday, Jo-El Pineiro, and Mark DeRosa received offers, while the Cards declined to offer it to Troy Glaus.

I can't really find fault with declining to offer Glaus arbitration, as he's basically a more extreme version of Braden Looper last year. Looper, you'll recall, was eligible to be a Type B free agent, and the Cardinals decided not to make an offer to him and forfeit the draft pick. There was much consternation at the time over the lost draft pick, but at the same time, one couldn't ignore the risk of Looper accepting the arby offer and the Cards being hung with a pitcher they neither particularly wanted nor, to be completely frank, had the space to hold on to. The rest of the story, of course, is Looper went and signed himself a deal with Milwaukee as they attempt to construct some sort of Frankenstein situation composed entirely of former Cardinals mid-rotation starters. Looper then proceeded to have himself a rather awful year, complete with an ERA+ of 77. (Of course, he somehow also managed to go 14-7, so draw your own conclusions.)

As for Glaus, he seems to be all the downside of Looper, but with almost none of the upside. Glaus is on the wrong side of 30, so it isn't as if he's getting better, his health is still a significant concern, and he was frankly less than impressive in the modest number of late-season plate appearances he managed in 2009. If an arby offer had been floated to Glaus, I have absolutely no doubt he would have accepted, and that would not have been a good thing. At this point, I'm not sure he's going to be able to play third base on an everyday basis due to his shoulder problems, and the Cardinals have no need of a right-handed 1B/PH making $5 million+ a year.

On the other hand, I don't think there's any chance in hell of any of the other three accepting their offers. Holliday we know about, and he'll be playing the field for quite a while still before landing in Boston. This is likely the last chance for either Pineiro or DeRosa to land a sizable, multi-year deal, and I have to think both will take advantage of the situation. I suppose there's always the chance Mark of the Rose accepts, looking at it as a one year deal to prove his wrist is sound and he's worth one last three year hurrah somewhere, but I would be a bit surprised. Even if he did go that way, having DeRosa back on one year deal for middling money wouldn't be a bad outcome at all. The dollars aren't really the issue here anyway. The real issue is one would prefer not to offer 34 year old players three year deals if it can be avoided, and arbitration does so quite nicely.

Pineiro will get his money somewhere, and he's welcome to it. We'll always have New York, Jo-El. Thanks for the memories. Also, could I get an autograph? I want the caption to read, "Moar sinkers, men, and into the breach we go! Love, El Pinata." That would be sweet.

All in all, I think the whole arby thing played out about how most of us expected. The Cards made offers to the three players they felt they can trust to refuse it or be worth the deal if accepted, and declined the one player likely to accept and be a drain on resources in 2010. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best and all that.

So how about it, Birdos? Any thoughts on the arbitration situation? I feel bad, because it's probably already been covered somewhere around here, but I had a radiator hose in my car split on me, so I've been dealing with that this morning and got an even later start than usual on this.  In hindsight, I should have just gone ahead and put up the Cubs piece early, since it's already done, but I wanted to at least maintain the illusion I'm paying attention.

The Baron's Playlist for the 2nd of December, 2009

"Cuddly Toy" - Harry Nilsson

"Little Secrets" - Passion Pit

"Jacqueline" - The Coral

"Minnie the Moocher" - Cab Calloway

"Somebody Else" - Kubb