Cardinals close to extension with another player day after Harrison Bader deal

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The St. Louis Cardinals are moving fast, getting extensions done before Opening Day. First, it was Harrison Bader. Now, it’s Giovanny Gallegos’ turn.

St. Louis avoided arbitration with Harrison Bader by signing him to a two-year contract worth $10.4 million. Considering the sizable gap between Bader and the organization during arbitration talks, the Cardinals wanted to avoid the awkwardness and eventual drama that comes from such heated salary negotiations.

Instead, they sat down across a table and found a number that works. The old-fashioned way, some might say.

Next up for St. Louis is Giovanny Gallegos, who is the lead candidate for long-term closer, despite manager Oliver Marmol saying the team would start the season with a closer by committee approach.

Cardinals rumors: St. Louis to extend Giovanny Gallegos

The Cardinals strategy here, it would appear, is to avoid arbitration with their young stars entirely. Rather than settle in front of a judge, St. Louis will offer multi-year agreements through the player’s arbitration years, extending long-term stability for a slightly lower salary than they may earn in front of an arbitrator.

Bader took the bait, and it’s likely Gallegos will as well.

Per Katie Woo of The Athletic, “And on the topic of extensions, the #STLCards are moving closer to a multi-year contract extension with Giovanny Gallegos. Like Bader’s, it would carry Gallegos through the remainder of his arb-eligible years (2023, 2024).”

The Cardinals are most likely starting the year in a closer by committee approach only because Gallegos was absent the first few days of spring training in what was already a shortened camp. Once their regular closer is up to speed, perhaps they can insert him back into his regular role.

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