JUPITER, Fla. -- Cardinals center fielder Tommy Pham knows the numbers. He has a feel for how much the analytics adore his production, is aware of how his 2017 season was unlike any other in Cardinals history, and can name the players who did some of the things he did (see: Trout, Mike). He can recite each of the stats on the back of his baseball card and also explain how he intends to improve each of them.
But all of that was secondary Monday to something else he's knows well.
Baseball is a business.
And sometimes it has bite.
The Cardinals announced Monday that they renewed Pham. That means the Cardinals and their center fielder were unable to come to an agreement on his salary for the 2018 season, so the Cardinals used their right to impose a salary on him. They could have tagged him with the minimum. They awarded him a $570,000 salary -- one of the largest for a third-year player.
Discussions with the team about a two-year deal never really gained traction, Pham said. He signed the renewal notice Monday.
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"I know what numbers I need to put up, to reach, whatever I'm willing to reach," Pham said. "I'm from Vegas. I'm a betting individual."
The renewal of Pham came on the same day that the team finalized a six-year extension for Paul DeJong that guarantees him $26 million and could be worth $51.5 million over eight years. DeJong sought that kind of deal and security, and was willing to give up two years of free agency and all of his arbitration years to make it happen.
Pham was more reluctant.
A two-year deal didn't interest him because he will be arbitration-eligible next winter, and with his service time and games played he could get a relative windfall. When he reaches arbitration he will have all of his production at his back as his platform for his salary. That includes this past season when he stole more than 20 bases, hit more than 20 homers, and had a batting average better than .300, while also slugging better than .500.