Cardinals Avoid Arbitration w/ Harrison Bader with 2-Year Extension
Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the St. Louis Cardinals and outfielder Harrison Bader have agreed to a 2-year/$10.4M contract extension.
This deal covers the final two years of Bader’s salary arbitration eligibility, with $1M up front signing bonus and $4.7M salaries for both the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
Also, included are incentives that could increase Bader’s 2023 salary. The $4.7M base would jump $250K each for 300, 400 & 450 plate appearances or 85, 98, 111 games started & $500K each for 500, 550 & 600 plate appearances or 124, 137, & 150 games started. Deal also includes bonuses on each year of top 10 MVP voting, Gold/Platinum Glove Awards etc. according to Rosenthal https://twitter.com/ken_rosenthal/status/1510355689998225408?s=21&t=7Z8_hVkfH6O5rLesJQCrDw
Coming into arbitration, Bader’s camp came in with an asking price of $4.8M which was met by the Cardinals coming in with a $3.8M counter offer. With the contract extension being agreed to, Bader & the Cardinals avoid the arbitration hearing and there will be no arbitration obstacle for the two parties next off-season.
Bader was a 3.4 fWAR player last season despite only playing in 103 games, and won his first career Gold Glove. Offensively, Harrison took steps forward in his plate production as he ended the year with a .267/.324/.460 slashline with career highs in HRs (16), doubles (21), RBIs (50), and batting avg. (.267).
This contract extension puts minds at ease on both sides, and is very team-friendly with Bader’s upside. This leaves Tyler O’Neill as the only Cardinals player not to have an agreed upon deal for the 2022 season, however there are rumblings that the Cardinals front office & O’Neill have had talks with progress being made.