On Monday, the Cardinals renewed the contract of outfielder Tommy Pham, assigning him a salary of $570,000 for the 2018 season. As Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, the Cardinals actually offered Pham a two-year contract, but the soon-to-be 30-year-old refused the deal as he felt like the Cardinals didn’t show appreciation for the year he just had.
Pham hit .306/.411/.520 with 23 home runs, 73 RBI, 95 runs scored, and 25 stolen bases in 530 plate appearances. Defensive metrics also graded him highly, giving him a total of 6.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. He ranked 10th across baseball in WAR, tied with Mookie Betts. Indeed, that is a very strong season.
For players not yet eligible for arbitration, teams can decide those players’ salaries for the upcoming season if they can’t come to an agreement. That is known as “renewing” a contract. Once a player is eligible for arbitration, the player and his team argue their case in front of arbitrators if they can’t come to an agreement. Pham will be eligible for arbitration after this season and can become a free agent after the 2021 season.
In rejecting the Cardinals’ two-year offer, Pham says he’s betting on himself. He said, “I know what numbers I need to put up, to reach, whatever I’m willing to reach. I’m from Vegas. I’m a betting individual.” Pham said the Cardinals’ offer wasn’t “strong enough.”
In January, Pham said his goal for the 2018 season is to become a 30-30 (home runs and stolen bases) player. There have only been six 30-30 seasons dating back to 2010, with four coming in 2011, two in 2012, and none since. Pham, who made his season debut on May 5, was seven home runs and five stolen bases short of accomplishing the feat last year.