Cards stick to 1-year deals before arb deadline

Cards stick to 1-year deals before arb deadline

ST. LOUIS -- A day after agreeing to deals with the team's remaining arbitration-eligible players, general manager John Mozeliak said the Cardinals declined the opportunity to seek more than a one-year commitment from any of the four.

Brandon Moss ($8.25 million), Trevor Rosenthal ($5.6 million), Matt Adams ($1.65 million) and Seth Maness ($1.4 million) all came to terms with the Cardinals before having to publicly exchange desired salary figures. The Cards have often used this time in the arbitration calendar to sign players to multiyear deals, thereby buying out additional years of arbitration eligibility. It happened last January, for instance, when the Cardinals signed Lance Lynn to a three-year contract and Jon Jay to a two-year deal.

So why not again?

"I think part of it is because a lot of people are looking at doing deals just through arbitration, and I want to get away from that," Mozeliak said. "I think the old model where you can pick up a year or two of free agency is more helpful, and I didn't get a sense anybody was really having the stomach for that [long of a contract agreement]. So that's kind of how we ended up with one-year deals."

He described Rosenthal's negotiation as the toughest of the four, given the lack of comparable players. Rosenthal entered arbitration following a season in which he set the franchise single-season save record.

Worth noting:

Top prospect Alex Reyes will not participate in Major League camp, Mozeliak confirmed. Reyes will miss the start of the 2016 season as he finishes out a 50-game suspension for testing positive for marijuana last fall. The violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program forced Reyes to leave the Arizona Fall League prematurely.

Reyes will instead be invited to the organization's Spring Training Early Program for top Minor Leaguers, which takes place in advance of the start of Minor League camp in March.

• Lefty Marco Gonzales, who threw only 80 2/3 innings in 2015 while dealing with a shoulder impingement, said that he began throwing off the mound on Thursday and "feels great."

"It's the first time in a long time I've thrown and not thought about anything besides where the ball is going," added Gonzales, who will go into Spring Training as depth for the Cardinals' rotation.

• First baseman Matt Adams showed up at Winter Warm-Up on Saturday looking more svelte after working to gain muscle this offseason.

"I've just gotten stronger and, hopefully, quicker," said Adams, who missed much of 2015 with a quad injury. "I want to go out there and prove everybody wrong that says last year was the type of player I am. I went into the offseason wanting to work on some stuff, and I did that, so I'm ready to get going."

Quotable: "I'm pretty glad to be a part of this aging core." -- Matt Carpenter, when asked to comment on Jason Heyward's suggestion that the Cardinals don't have the same youth on their side that the Cubs do

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.