Jaime Garcia extended by St. Louis

Today the St. Louis Cardinals announced they signed pitcher Jaime Garcia to a 4/$27.5mil deal. So the deal will run from 2012-2015, covering Garcia’s age 26-29 seasons. There are also two club options. Also, the contract buys out his remaining arbitration years, while the options would buy out two years of free agency.

I really like this deal. Garcia had a 3.41 FIP in 2010 and has a 2.98 FIP in 2011. Moreover, he is a ground ball pitcher and is on pace for another 3+ WAR season. He’s also in his mid-twenties and has plenty of good years ahead. The AAV of this deal is $6.876mil. At that level of pay, Garcia doesn’t even need to be an average pitcher (2.0 WAR) to earn his paycheck. Chances are though he will perform much better than 1.5-2.0 WAR.

So in 2012, in what would have been another pre-arbitration year, Garcia will make about $7mil- or at least that’s what I presume since I don’t believe they announced per year figures yet. There St. Louis will overpay compared to what they would have given him, BUT, it’s still less than his market value. Through his arbitration seasons, I’d say by his second one he would have earned about $7mil, and then in the final year of the contract, the Cardinals would begin saving money and would keep doing so if they pick up his options.

So- short term Cardinals will not save money, but will do so in the long run. Moreover, they lock up a young arm on the cheap (compared to his actual value), as they look to the future and decide what to do with Albert Pujols.

For Garcia it’s a no-brainer since he’ll be paid money sooner rather than later and gets nice security and at early stage in his career.

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