From an ending to another beginning
Quite the ride we have had over the past nine months — from an extra-long slate of 32 Spring Training games, through a grueling 162-game season, and then onto an extra month of baseball that, for the Cardinals, ended one day prematurely. It was a special season, without question, and thank you for joining me for the ride. I hope you found the content on cardinals.com to be informative, complete, entertaining and enjoyable.
Don’t fret, either, as there will be daily stories (and regular blog entries) from now until Spring Training to get you through those dreaded winter months without baseball.
I hardly had time to make the return trip to St. Louis from Boston before the first bit of news rolled in. Today, 147 players declared for Major League free agency, including four Cardinals: Chris Carpenter, Rafael Furcal, Carlos Beltran and Edward Mujica. Written from Fenway Park last night (or more accurately, in the early morning), here are Beltran’s thoughts about his impending free agency. He reiterated his interest in returning to St. Louis, but also understands that the Cardinals’ roster may not have room for him.
Teams have until Monday to make qualifying offers to their free agents. Remember that in order to secure a compensation Draft pick, a team has to make this one-year offer. This year, the qualifying offer figure has been set at $14.1 million (it is determined by taking the average salary of the highest 125 players from 2013). Beltran seems a strong candidate to receive this sort of offer.
Beginning at 11:01 p.m. CT on Monday, teams can begin negotiating with free agents from other teams.
The MLB.com Hot Stove blog (link here) is up and running again and is a great one-stop shop to get the latest updates from all 30 clubs.
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