Red Bird Droppings: 2023 Salary, Randy Flores

Today we’ll look at projected salaries for 2023, the impact of Randy Flores, and some quick hits from across the web.

Projecting 2023 Salary
A few weeks back, MLB Trade Rumors released their arbitration projections for 2023 (which have been added to the Salary Matrix – a new matrix will be released after the World Series, when free agency begins). The Cardinals have the following players going through arbitration:

Of the players listed, I think we see Stratton, Reyes, and Hudson non-tendered; they’ll attempt to bring Reyes back for less then $2M. I could also see them attempting to re-sign Stratton for less as well. Hudson is too inconsistent, but could be dealt prior to the non-tender deadline. O’Neill is another guy that could be traded in the off-season.

Knizner and Cabrera could be non-tender candidates, but I think with their relative low projected salaries, the Cardinals will keep them around for at least another year. We know Knizner isn’t the heir to Yadier Molina, but he’s a capable backup for the heir; plus, they’ll want to keep him around for 1 more year to see what happens with Ivan Hererra. Cabrera struggled in 2022, but he could be a long-shot rotation option going forward or stay in relief; either way, he has potential and would be signed quickly if he were able to walk.

The Unsung Cardinal Hero
In the quick hits last time, I mentioned that Randy Flores (along with Michael Girsch) received a contract extension; Flores took over as Scouting Director in 2016, so he’s pretty much run 7 drafts at this point. Here’s the top players from each of those drafts and their bWAR:

Flores has brought the team a 46.9 bWAR through drafts so far. His first draft was exceptional; it’s a shame we never got the contributions from Gallen, but Edman was the gem of that draft. Perez could still make the majors, but he won’t be a real contributor. At least the other first rounders from that draft have been positive, for the most part.

2017 was a down year, but the team took a big hit by not drafting until the 3rd round; picks 56 and 75 were forfeited (notable players drafted between picks 56 and 94 include Daulton Varsho, Taylor Walls, Nick Allen, Luis Gonzalez, and Trevor Stephan). The draft as a whole doesn’t look impressive and there aren’t any players that look like the Edman come out of no where types.

The real draft to follow of his will the 2020 one. We’ve already gotten Burleson to the majors, but the hype around Walker, Winn, and Hence could make this small draft one of the most impactful we’ve seen. Keith Law even said it could be in contention as “an all-timer”.

Quick Hits

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