Cheap Seats

February 1, 2014

Cardinals made the right move to avoid arbitration with Descalso

Cheap Seats

Looking at the Cards from a fan's perspective

I'm glad to see the St. Louis Cardinals were able to come to an agreement on a contract with infielder Daniel Descalso.

While it's never good to see members of the front office have to sit at a table and tear down their own player to try to make their case for a lower paycheck, this would have been especially unsettling with a player of Descalso's type.

He's not a superstar player. If Descalso was, it might be easier to put a number on his value. He's a .243 career hitter with a .310 on base percentage. He's never hit more than five homers in a season and the back of his baseball card is, generally, pretty unimpressive.

Descalso's value is more subtle. He can play second, third or short with solid defense. While his numbers aren't flashy, he's a guy who has come through with huge at bats in the highest pressure situations possible. On paper it would be easy for St. Louis GM John Mozeliak to make a case to try to break down Descalo's value.

But, in short, Descalso is a winner. He's a good guy to have around and a valuable part of the Cardinals. So it's good not to create an unnecessary discord by letting an arbitration case go to a hearing.

In the end, the Redbirds gave Descalso $1.29 million, not a bad price to play for a contributor of his ilk. Especially when you average in the salaries St. Louis played him over his first three seasons.

It's a healthier situation for the team, unlike the arbitration stand-off the Chicago Cubs are having with pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

The Wee Bears have precious little talent these days. They've slashed their payroll in half. But that didn't stop them from offering their hurler a low-ball bid and then sticking to their guns when he countered.

The petty bickering could easily cost the Cubs a chance to sign Samardzija to a long-term contract extension. 

While the Birds may never sign Descalso to a multi-year deal, players talk. And it can only help a club to have a reputation as a team that treats its players fairly.

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About Cheap Seats

Scott Wuerz has reported for the Belleville News-Democrat since 1998​. He writes about the St. Louis Cardinals from a fan's perspective in his Cheap Seats blog.

Contact him at swuerz@bnd.com.

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