ST. LOUIS -- As had been anticipated, the Cardinals tendered contracts to all of their arbitration-eligible players except Daniel Descalso before Tuesday's deadline. By choosing not to move forward in the arbitration process with Descalso, the Cardinals have freed up the utility infielder to negotiate with any club.
Those tendered contracts by the Cardinals include arbitration-eligibles Jon Jay, Jordan Walden, Peter Bourjos, Lance Lynn and Tony Cruz. The club can continue negotiating with the players in an effort to avoid arbitration hearings.
Players who are still eligible for arbitration on Jan. 16 will exchange desired salary numbers with their club and a hearing will be set for sometime during the first three weeks of February. If an agreement isn't reached prior to the hearing, an arbitration panel will hear from both the player and club and choose one of the sides' proposed salaries for 2015.
Jay, Walden and Bourjos are going through the arbitration process for a second time, while Lynn and Cruz are eligible for the first time. Lynn will see the largest jump in salary and may be a player the Cardinals target for a multi-year deal that would cover additional arbitration years.
As for Descalso, he joins a free-agent pool that also includes Shane Robinson, who was arbitration-eligible before the Cardinals released him last month. Descalso, a third-round Draft pick by the Cardinals in 2007, served as a versatile infielder in parts of five seasons with the club. He hit .243/.313/.341 and helped the Cardinals to a World Series title in 2011.
Descalso will long be remembered in St. Louis for his contributions in the Cardinals' improbable comeback against the Nationals in Game 5 of the 2012 National League Division Series. His game-tying two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning preceded Pete Kozma's game-winning hit.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.