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Michael Wacha, Tyler Lyons, and Randal Grichuk tendered contracts

All three of the Cardinals’ arbitration-eligible players were secured for the 2018 season

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at St. Louis Cardinals Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Before Friday, December 1st at 7:00 PM Central time - the deadline to reach deals with unsigned players on the 40-man roster - the Cardinals tendered contracts to their three arbitration-eligible players: right-hander Michael Wacha, left-hander Tyler Lyons, and outfielder Randal Grichuk.

For Wacha, it is his second season of arbitration eligibility, as he’s currently in line to reach free agency by the end of the 2019 season. The 26-year-old Wacha enjoyed his first full season in a while, logging 30 starts for the first time since 2015. Wacha pitched 165 23 innings - third on the staff behind Carlos Martinez and Lance Lynn - and posted a 3.63 FIP.

Wacha’s 3.2 WAR ranked third among qualified Cardinals, with Tommy Pham’s 5.9 and Martinez’s 3.3 the only higher marks.

Lyons was recently looked at when scouting the 2010 MLB Draft. Lyons is in his first year of arbitration and is coming off of his most important seasons yet at the big-league level.

After being sidelined for the majority of April and May to start the 2017 season, Lyons returned and went 4-1 in 50 appearances out of the St. Louis bullpen. Lyons logged 54 frames with a 2.83 ERA and 11.33 strikeouts per nine innings. The high strikeout rate was accompanied by a drop in the long ball, as only three were hit off Lyons this season.

2017 St. Louis Cardinals statistics: FanGraphs

Grichuk, like Lyons, is in his first year of arbitration eligibility and is due for free agency at the end of the 2020 season.

Grichuk was demoted to the lower levels of the Minor Leagues in late May and returned about a month later before missing about a week in July with a lower back injury. Nonetheless, Grichuk was one of five Cardinals (Paul DeJong, Matt Carpenter, Jedd Gyorko, and Pham, as well) to hit at least 20 home runs; for Grichuk, it was his second consecutive season with upwards of 20 homers - he hit 22 in 2017 and 24 the year before.

The high-homer rates are usually reflected in the strikeout category, and that is certainly the case with Grichuk. The 26-year-old outfielder whiffed 30.1 percent of the time in 2017, with 133 punchouts in 442 plate appearances across 122 games.


Also worth noting: infielder Aledmys Diaz was extended a contract before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Video is credited to the official Major League Baseball YouTube channel.