Oct. 16, 2016
Cardinals Begin To Free Space On 40 Man Roster - Outright Waiver Three
St. Louis Cardinals begin to open up space on their 40 man roster. Announced yesterday, three players outrighted. Right-handed pitcher Mitch Harris, catchers Alberto Rosario and Michael Ohlman.
A true veteran of the U. S. Navy, Lt. Mitch Harris, was drafted in 2008 by the Cardinals from the United States Naval Academy. He opted to honor his five year commitment to serve in the Navy. The 30 year old was signed to a contract in 2015 to realize his dream of being a major league pitcher. In last year's season, he was 2-1/3.67 ERA and logged 27 IP in the Bigs. He was among the players in the 2016 Spring training; but, began to experience elbow stain in March. In June, he opted for a Tommy Johns-like surgery (repair, not replacement); but, never resurfaced with the Cardinals in St. Louis in 2016.
Michael Ohlman, with the Memphis Triple-A Redbirds, behind Cardinals prospect catcher Carson Kelly, his future to make the majors is slim. However, like Harris, catcher Alberto Rosario did see major league time.
Rosario joined the Cardinals this past season as back-up to Yadier Molina. "Rosario was one of many backup catchers the Cardinals turned to this year, but much like Brayan Pena, Carson Kelly, and Eric Fryer, he saw very limited action. Despite spending nearly three months on the major-league roster, he received just 41 plate appearances, hitting .184/.225/.237 with two doubles. September 3, sealed Rosario's future with the Cardinals that longevity was not going to happen. With Yadier Molina receiving a much-needed day of rest, Rosario got the start, and he came to the plate in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and two outs. He grounded out to second, killing a potential rally in a game the Cardinals were losing 2-1. They ended up losing 9-1, and it was one of their worst losses of the season." (Patrick Karraker, Fansided) Rosario did not make a game start the remainder of the season. Even though, the veteran 34 year old catcher Pena was activated off the DL for a second time, (signed during Spring training, 2 Yr/$5 MM as the main back-up for Molina) due to continued knee strain, was limited to play. Cardinals prospect Carson Kelly was called up and would be Molina's back-up. To make room for Pena and Kelly, pitcher Seth Maness (elbow) was placed on the 60-Day DL and infielder Dean Anna was designated for assignment.
None of the three have ever been outrighted.
By MLB definition: Outright Waivers ~ "A club attempting to remove a player from the 40-man roster and send him to the Minor Leagues must first place that player on outright waivers, allowing the 29 other Major League clubs the opportunity to claim him. The claiming club assumes responsibility for the remaining money owed to the claimed player, who is placed on his new club's 40-man roster. Should the player clear waivers, he can be sent to any Minor League affiliate the club chooses. Outright waivers are also used when clubs wish to remove a player who is out of Minor League options from the 25-man roster by sending him to the Minors."
"If a player has more than three years of Major League service time or was previously outrighted in his career (by his current club or another club), he is eligible to reject the outright assignment and instead opt for free agency. Players with more than three but less than five years of Major League service time must forfeit any remaining guaranteed money on their contract if they reject an outright assignment. Conversely, those with five or more years of Major League service time are still owed any guaranteed money remaining on their contract, should they elect free agency following an outright."
CARDINALS LOOK TO 2017
It has been reported the Cardinals have been reviewing defense, to increase field efficiency and will address their pitching staff. It has been stated that they will move CF Randal Grichuk to left field to replace LF Matt Holliday, who's option ($17 MM) would not be exercised for 2017. Therefore, a hunt for a centerfielder via trade or free agency. Outfielder Stephen Piscotty will remain in the right corner. Cardinals are looking to keep players in one position versus "floating players" that we saw this past season. Field options: 2B/3B/1B Matt Carpenter, SS/3B/2B Jedd Gyorko, SS Aledmys Diaz, 2B Kolten Wong, 1B Matt Adams; and, possible, 1B/OF Brandon Moss (dependent of new contract offered). Along with consideration to utility infielder Greg Garcia, outfielders Tommy Pham and Jeremy Hazelbaker off the bench. Versatility is a plus; however, I feel for a player to be truly proficient, not only in the field but at the plate, each needs the security of knowing from game-to-game their concentration will be on one position only, save to accommodate for days off.
Small moves now; but the Cardinals are preparing for a much stronger 2017. One game short of postseason in 2016, a season they do not want to repeat, not only next season; but, seasons to come.