Allen Craig, coming off a breakout season with the St. Louis Cardinals, agreed Friday to a $31 million, five-year contract that could be worth $43 million over six seasons.
Craig gets $1.75 million this year, $2.75 million in 2014, $5.5 million in 2015, $9 million in 2016 and $11 million in 2017. The Cardinals have a $13 million option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.
The 28-year-old Craig would have been eligible for salary arbitration next winter and for free agency after the 2016 World Series.
He has 150 RBI in 238 big league games and was sixth in the NL last season with a .307 average. He had 22 home runs and 92 RBI despite not playing his first game until May 1 following offseason surgery on his right knee.
Craig is a career .300 hitter and became the Cardinals’ primary first baseman last year after Lance Berkman got hurt. Craig also made 30 starts in the outfield.
Mets’ Mejia back in camp
New York Mets pitching prospect Jenrry Mejia returned to camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and can resume baseball activities after being diagnosed with a hyperactive thyroid gland.
The 23-year-old flew to New York this week for tests following his spring training physical. He has been advised by doctors not to eat seafood, which is rich in lodine, but he does not have to take medication.
“Everything is doing great. Everything is going well,” said Mejia, expected to start the regular season at Triple-A Las Vegas. “They said everything is looking great and I can do every activity, but don’t eat fish. It’s like Jose Reyes.
“They said [the thyroid] is too quick, but it’s normal right now. They don’t want me to make it faster.”
Reyes, a former’ Mets shortstop, was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism during spring training in 2010 and missed the first five games of the regular season.
It’s been a spring training of delays and setbacks for Mejia, who went 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA in five appearances for the Mets last season.
He reported to camp more than a week later than expected due to visa issues in the Dominican Republic and was roughed up in his lone exhibition appearance, allowing five runs in one inning against the Miami Marlins on Feb. 26.
Sho Tanaka drove in the go-ahead run with a 10th-inning sacrifice fly, lifting defending champion Japan over Taiwan 4-3 in Tokyo. Tanaka’s fly to the warning track in left allowed Nobuhiro Matsuda to score from third. Toshiya Suguichi retired Taiwan in the bottom of the 10th for the save. Cuba must defeat Taiwan today to have a chance to advance to the final round in San Francisco on March 17-19.
Chris Colabello drove in four runs with four hits, including a three-run homer, and surprising Italy routed Canada 14-4 to improve to 2-0 in Group D competition in Phoenix. Italy scored eight runs after Canada cut the lead to 6-4 in the top of the seventh. It’s the first time in the three World Baseball Classics that Italy has won two games.
Jonathan Schoop hit a three-run homer to lead the Netherlands over Cuba 6-2 in Tokyo. Curt Smith homered and Andrelton Simmons added an RBI single to give the Netherlands a 2-0 lead in the second inning while chasing Cuba starter Ismel Jimenez, who allowed five hits in 1⅔ innings. Schoop’s sixth-inning drive gave the Netherlands a 5-1 cushion.
Carlos Beltran’s RBI double keyed a three-run first and three Puerto Rico pitchers combined on a five-hitter in a 3-0 victory over Spain in San Juan, Puerto Rico.