The Cardinals have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Bryce Harper, and team president Bill DeWitt III confirmed the club can afford to hand out $300 million or more in free agency, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"We could do it, sure. It's about [considering] putting all our eggs in one basket. We have the payroll room."
Asked about meeting a whopper, free-agent deal like Harper will command (greater than $300 million), Bill DeWitt III says, “We could do it, sure. It’s about (considering) putting all our eggs in one basket. We have the payroll room.” #stlcards #cardinals #MLB— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) 19 de noviembre de 2018
With projected arbitration costs included, Baseball-Reference.com estimates that the Cardinals' payroll will be $136.9 million in 2019. Even if the Cards sign Harper for $35 million, their payroll wouldn't be much higher than it was this past season, and they would still be well below the $206 million luxury-tax threshold.
St. Louis also has just $75.4 million committed for 2020, $33.4 million for 2021 and $6.67 million for 2022.
The Cardinals have needs in the bullpen, at third base and in the outfield, so they may choose to spread out their resources. But it's at least financially feasible for the club to sign Harper.