The Reds have given former Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen a two-year contract extension that gives Cincinnati some much-needed payroll flexibility in 2010.
Rolen will get $23.625 million over the next three years in the form of $6 million in 2010 and $6.5 million in 2011 and 2012, according to mlb.com. Rolen also got a signing bonus of about $5 million that is to be paid without interest over the next three years. It doesn't add up to $23.625 million, but that's the way it was reported, which I figure is some weighting for compensate for the money that is deferred without interest.
He was supposed to get $11 million next season.
Despite the 2010 pay cut, Rolen shouldn't have to worry about money in 2010. He is due a $4 million payment from the Cardinals that was part of the original deal he signed with the team in 2003.
The Cardinals signed Rolen to an eight-year, $90-million deal in 2003 shortly after picking him up in a trade from the Philles.
As a side note, it struck a chord for me to read yesterday in Yahoo columinist Jeff Passan's latest piece that the Cardinals couldn't afford Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols because only two teams in MLB history have had two $100 million players at the same time and they are the New York clubs.
If the offer the Cardinals have on the table to Holliday right now is accepted, the Cardinals STILL wouldn't have two $100 million players... It's for $78-$80 million. But if the team raised the deal considerably, to the point that it was over $100 million, how would it impact the Birds' payroll more than paying Rolen $90 million seven years ago when the team's revenue was at best about two-thirds of what it is now? Or five years ago after Albert Pujols signed his current $100-million contract?