In late December we get the shortest day of the year. Night falls so early and sunrise comes so late that it feels like we’ll never return to the happy warm life we love so dearly.
But it is not all bleak! For on that shortest day, the tide of darkness turns. It never gets worse! The very next day is a few seconds longer. Soon, we’re gaining a minute a day and before you know it we’re setting clocks forward and spring begins to bloom!
Baseball’s offseason is a lot like that. As it drags on, it gets more and more attenuated from actual baseball and the activities and events we’re forced to settle for seem less and less important. It feels like we’ll never enjoy a game again. But there is, like the winter solstice, a low point that we can nonetheless celebrate because, surely, everything that happens thereafter is more significant and brings us a step closer to mitts popping and bats cracking.
Ladies and gentlemen: I bring you what I believe to be that moment:
Everything that happens now will be better. Blue skies will be here soon.
ST. LOUIS – Reliever Giovanny Gallegos and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract, a deal that includes a club option for 2025 and escalators that could make it worth $20.5 million over three seasons.
The 31-year-old right-hander is 3-5 with a 2.91 ERA and 14 saves in 20 chances this season. He has 72 strikeouts and 15 walks in 58 2/3 innings.
“I feel so happy,” Gallegos said before the Cardinals played the Pirates in Pittsburgh. “I don’t have the word for exactly how I’m feeling.”
He was obtained from the Yankees in July 2018 along with left-hander Chasen Shreve in the trade that sent first baseman Luke Voit to New York. Gallegos is 14-15 with a 3.02 ERA and 34 saves in six major league seasons.
Gallegos gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $4.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2024. St. Louis has a $6.5 million team option for 2025 with a $500,000 buyout.
His 2025 option price can increase by up to $3.5 million for games finished in 2024: $500,000 each for 20-25 and 26-30 and 31-35, and $1 million apiece for 36-40 and 41 or more.
He would get $250,000 for winning the Rivera/Hoffman reliever of the year award, $50,000 for All-Star selection and World Series MVP and $25,000 for League Championship Series MVP.
Gallegos has a $2.41 million salary this year.
He was eligible for salary arbitration and is potentially eligible for free agency after the 2024 season.