Minor leaguers declared free agency last week, Jeff Albert moves to New York, and the Cardinals have decisions to make today about their 40-man roster. All this, plus some quick hit links.
Minor League Free Agents
Late last week, the minor league free agent list was released by Minor League Baseball; the Cardinals had 16 players on the list:
- Austin Allen, C
- Roberto Baldoquin, IF
- Jacob Bosiokovic, RHP
- Clint Coulter, OF
- Zach McAllister, RHP
- T.J. McFarland, RHP
- Ljay Newsome, RHP
- Delvin Perez, SS
- Tyler Pike, LHP
- Johan Quezada, RHP
- Domingo Robles, LHP
- Julio Rodriguez, C
- Enrique Saldana, RHP
- Cory Spangenberg, IF
- Brady Whalen, 1B
- Garrett Williams, LHP
The most notable name on the list was Perez, a former 1st round pick that never developed a bat like the team would hope; he was also at times difficult to work with. Allen was acquired for catching depth at the trade deadline. We don’t need to get into McFarland. Many of the others will be system depth for other teams.
There are also a lot of former Cardinals on the list:
- Matt Bowman, RHP (Yankees)
- Sam Gaviglio, RHP (Dodgers)
- Dariel Gomez, 1B (Mariners)
- Joe Hudson, C (Rays)
- Connor Jones, RHP (Mariners)
- Rob Kaminsky, LHP (Mariners)
- Deck McGuire, RHP (Reds)
- Oscar Mercado, OF (Guardians)
- Yairo Munoz, 3B (Phillies)
- John Nogowski, 1B (Nationals)
- Stephen Piscotty, RHP (Reds)
- Nick Plummer, OF (Mets)
- Daniel Ponce de Leon, RHP (Tigers)
- Ryan Sherriff, LHP (Phillies)
- Chasen Shreve, LHP (Yankees)
- Austin Warner, LHP (Mariners)
- Ronnie Williams, RHP (Giants)
- Andrew Young, IF (Nationals)
About half the list has MLB time, but pretty much all of the players will be depth pieces; that’s unless someone like Piscotty or Ponce De Leon can re-find what got them to the Majors or Plummer can put it all together.
The Minor League Free Agents are listed on the Free Agent Tracker, but they are still being fixed and formatted with the rest of the spreadsheet.
Jeff Albert to the Mets
The Mets have hired Albert as their Director of Hitting for their system. He’ll work with the Major League Hitting Coaches (Eric Chavez/Jeremy Barnes) and over see the philosophy for the minor league system. It’s obvious that teams believe in Albert and his skills as a hitting instructor; will Cardinal fans have to eat crow if the Mets hitting takes off?
It does sound funny that Albert couldn’t handle the criticism in St. Louis, so he goes to the biggest, toughest market in baseball? Fans in New York are relentless and the minute the Mets go into a slump, he’ll probably feel a lot of heat (along with the hitting coaches).
I still think there was a bigger issue between Albert and the fans; I wouldn’t be surprised if he was harassed and/or threatened via DMs on social media. He’s taking the high road, so I assume we’ll never find out the full story.
40-Man Roster Decisions
The Cardinals have until 5 PM today to set their roster for the Rule V Draft; minor league players, if not added to the 40-man, can be drafted to another MLB team where they have to remain on the active 26-man roster for the full season. If a player was signed/drafted at 18 or younger, they must be added to the 40-man within 5 seasons; if the player was drafted/signed over 18, they must be added within 4 seasons. Once a player is drafted, the new team will pay the old team $100,000 in exchange for drafting the player; if the player doesn’t remain on the 26-man for the full season, the original team can take them back and return $50,000 to the other team. Confused? It took a while for me to figure it all out too.
The Cardinals have already protected Moises Gomez by selecting his contract. According to MLB.com, the Cardinals still have decisions on 3 other Top 30 Prospects from their organization: RHP Inohan Paniagua (#13), RHP Dionys Rodriguez (#19), and AFL Top Pitcher RHP Connor Thomas (#24, although he’s probably top 10 in their next update). The Cardinals also have Pedro Pages (C), Griffin Roberts (RHP), and Luken Baker (1B) which have some degree of MLB potential, but are longshots to be taken.