The St. Louis Cardinals have five players with between three and six years of major league service who were not already under contract for 2013. All five – relievers Mitchell Boggs, Jason Motte, Edward Mujica and Marc Rzepczynski, plus third baseman David Freese – are eligible to have their salary for next season decided via arbitration.
The first step was on the Cardinals. They needed to declare their intention to enter the process. Alternatively, they had the right to not offer a contract – called non-tendering the player – making him an immediate free agent.
Clubs would do this if they fear the contract amount the player could earn via arbitration would be more than the team would like to pay.
In the case of the Cardinals’ five, all were reportedly offered contracts for 2013 by Friday night’s deadline of midnight Eastern. At that point, the players and team remain firmly committed to each other. The only question that remains is how much the players will make next season.