Cards keep closer Franklin in nest
Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 5:02 pm
By: By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) — National League saves leader Ryan Franklin joked that he signed a new two-year contract without hard negotiating so there’d be room for the St. Louis Cardinals to work on deals for Matt Holliday and Mark DeRosa.
“That’s why I definitely took a lot less to stay here,” Franklin said Tuesday. “So we could sign those guys. I’m a team player, man.”
The 36-year-old Franklin’s new contract runs through 2011 and is worth $6.5 million plus incentives.
He had 35 saves in 37 chances while going 2-1 with a 1.05 ERA, and was selected to his first All-Star team in July.
Franklin, who lives in a suburb of Oklahoma City, Okla., wanted to stay close to home. The Cardinals gave him his first shot at closing last year while Jason Isringhausen was injured and he’s appreciative of the way he’s been treated, so he didn’t mind settling for less.
“I wouldn’t say hometown discount,” Franklin said. “When you’re making millions it’s not a discount, not where I’m from. My mom and dad are 60 and 64 years old and they’re still working every day, so I’m pretty fortunate to be able to do what I’ve done and make what I’ve made in my time.”
Franklin’s ERA is the majors’ best for a reliever and he had saves in his last 11 opportunities.
“It is no secret that when we entered spring training, the question of who would be our closer was unsettled,” general manager John Mozeliak said. “’Franky’ has responded to that challenge in a big way, and our club would not be where we are today without his outstanding performance and leadership.”
The Cardinals also signed left-handed specialist Trever Miller to a new two-year deal for this year and 2010 worth $2 million in base salary per season. It includes a 2011 option for $2 million that would be guaranteed if he appears in 45 games next season.
The option would become a club option with a $1 million buyout if Miller appears in 45 games next season and goes on the disabled list during 2010 for a left arm or shoulder injury.
His old contract for this year, signed as a free agent last November, had been worth $500,000.
The 36-year-old Miller was 4-0 with a 1.77 ERA while holding left-handed hitters to a .100 average (8-for-80).
Miller said it took less than a week to reach terms on the new contract.
“It wasn’t going to be a hard sell for me, I’ll tell you that,” Miller said. “I think that’s why it went fast.”
The Cardinals activated Troy Glaus, sidelined all season following shoulder surgery in January, from the 60-day disabled list although manager Tony La Russa couldn’t promise him regular playing time. During Glaus’ absence the Cardinals traded for Mark DeRosa, recovered from a sore wrist that led to being scratched on Sunday but not in the lineup because he’s 2-for-20 against Brewers starter Braden Looper.
The Cardinals worked Glaus out at third base earlier Tuesday, testing an arm that had been the biggest stumbling point. Glaus said he had pain in the shoulder but was able to play through it.
“He’s looking to play every day, but that’s unrealistic,” La Russa said. “We’ll give him an opportunity whenever we can and the better he looks, the more he gets.”
Glaus hit .216 in 51 at-bats at Triple-A Memphis with three homers, eight RBI and 17 strikeouts. He said a big reason was unfamiliarity with the minor league pitchers he was facing.
“The record against the guys I knew, it was obviously better,” Glaus said. “The results weren’t fantastic but I felt good, felt ready to be here.”
Pitcher Kyle Lohse, on the DL with a minor groin injury, was impressive in a simulated game and the Cardinals plan to activate him without a rehab assignment on Saturday. They haven’t decided whether he’ll start or relieve at first.
“I thought he really let it go,” La Russa said. “His stuff had good life. I think it’s just a matter of harnessing it so he can locate really well.”