Jack Flaherty won his arbitration case against the Cardinals, and he took to Twitter to celebrate.
With a mulligan easily given for the short 2020 season (4.91 ERA over nine starts), Jack Flaherty is one of top young pitchers in baseball. He headed into arbitration with the St. Louis Cardinals this offseason, with less than $1 million separating the two sides when they delivered numbers. Since the two sides didn’t come to an agreement, an arbitration hearing was coming.
On Saturday, according to FanSided’s Robert Murray, Flaherty won his case. That means he’ll make $3.9 million this season, in his first year of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projected him lower than the $3 million the Cardinals came in at, but the arbiter ruled in Flaherty’s favor.
The fairness of a system that delays free agency for players the way MLB’s does is a separate topic of conversation. Requiring player and team to do an arbitration hearing to argue what someone should be paid, when they can’t agree to a deal on their own, is on that same tangent.
Jack Flaherty went to Twitter to celebrate his win, just as he should
Flaherty, with a 3.34 ERA over 28 starts (151 innings), finished fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2018. He followed that in 2019 by posting a 2.75 ERA and a league-leading 0.97 WHIP over 33 starts (196.1 innings), on his way to finishing fourth in Cy Young voting and registering a few MVP votes. He would have made $604,500 over a normal 2020 campaign, and he was due a healthy raise as he entered arbitration.
When it came down to it, the Cardinals were willing to pay Flaherty almost five times what he would’ve made in 2020 in 2021. So calling them cheap is not warranted here. But the opportunity Flaherty took to celebrate his win was well worth it.