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Tommy Pham, Cardinals did not “agree” to a contract - A Hunt and Peck

The Cardinals renewed Tommy Pham’s contract.

St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

The way the current Major League Baseball salary structure is designed, players are under team control for six years, the first three for guaranteed a minimum salary, something around $508,000, and the last three of arbitration, where the player and team propose salaries and an arbitrator settles any disagreements. There are special circumstances that change this - Super Two status, for instance - and a team and player could reach a contract agreement, much like what the Cardinals and Paul DeJong did.

Due mostly to injury, Tommy Pham is only in his third year of pre-arbitration, meaning he is slated to earn the league minimum. On Monday, the Cardinals issues contracts to their pre-arb players, They all signed,

Except Pham.

The Cardinals then issued a renewal of Pham’s contract to impose the salary on him, and Pham has been at training camp and intends to play baseball, so this does not change much. So then why did he do it? According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

“If you look at what I did last year, I didn’t think there was a great amount of appreciation,” Pham said. “So I took the renewal.”

The Cardinals approached Pham with a two-year deal, a deal that Pham felt accepting would be selling himself short. Per Goold again:

In another discussion with a small group of media members that included Post-Dispatch columnist Jesus Ortiz, Pham also said this about the potential two-year offer from the team: “The numbers didn’t add up to me and my agency and the union. Nothing made sense. I didn’t think. It’s business first and foremost. I didn’t like it. The numbers didn’t seem right. I wouldn’t sell myself short like that.”

Tommy Pham always gives maximum effort on the field. It would makes sense that this would translate to other aspects of his life. Clearly, he has thought this through and he intends to prove that offer was an underpay through his performance on the field. As a Cardinals fan, I really want to see him do it.

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