Over the last two seasons, the St. Louis Cardinals have gained an extra pick in the amateur draft as compensation for the loss of a free agent–Kyle Lohse in 2012 and Carlos Beltran in 2013.
Both had received qualifying offers, $13.3 million for Lohse and $14.1 million for Beltran. Left-handed pitcher Rob Kaminsky was chosen with the 28th overall pick in ’12 and last year right-hander Jack Flaherty was selected at #34. That extra compensation pick is not likely to be there for St. Louis in 2015.
General Manager John Mozeliak noted he hasn’t “closed the door” on re-signing free agents, but with the qualifying offer rising to $15.3 million, it is improbable the Cardinals will be extending those contracts to Mark Ellis, Jason Motte, or Pat Neshek.
While not elaborating on each free agent, Mozeliak did offer more insight into what could affect the return of Motte for another season.
Teams have until 4pm (CT) on the fifth day after the World Series to make their qualifying offers and the player then has seven days to accept or decline. None of the 22 offers extended over the last two seasons have been accepted.
Justin Masterson and A.J. Pierzynski are not eligible for the qualifying offer as only players who have been with their club the entire season are eligible.
Mozeliak has confirmed the Cardinals will tender contracts to each of the arbitration-eligible players: Peter Bourjos, Tony Cruz, Daniel Descalso, Jon Jay, Lance Lynn, and Shane Robinson. Arbitration filings begin January 13th and the exchanging of figures takes place on January 16th. If necessary, hearings will be held in February.
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