This week on Redbird Droppings includes a look at the 40-man transactions, rumors on pitchers, and a minor league Gold Glove
The Cardinals set their 40-man roster this week, protecting 3 players in the process. Qualifying offers were made, and it could impact what the Cardinals do. Plus who are the Cardinals tied to and who could they be moving on from.
The Cardinals added 3 prospects tot he 40-man roster this week to protect them from the Rule V Draft. Recently acquired Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse (both RHP from Toronto in the Jordan Hicks deal) joined long-time farm-hand catcher Pedro Pages on the Cardinals roster. All provide roster depth at this point; Pages moreso if Ivan Herrera or Andrew Knizner are not with the team in the spring.
It was a 50/50 shot for Ian Bedell to be added to the 40-man; he had an incredible season with Peoria, being awarded the Midwest League Pitcher of the Year and an All Star, but he’s also 24 and never advances past Hi-A. Frankly, they were willing to take the risk that no team saw him as MLB ready. If a team does take a chance on him, they’ll stash in the bullpen for the season.
To make room on the roster, the Cardinals pruned 3. Left-handed pitcher Connor Thomas was designated for assignment, lefty Packy Naughton was outrighted off the roster, and right-hander Wilking Rodriguez became a free agent after he was outrighted.
Thomas was added last off-season to protect him from the Rule V draft; he saw his stock rise after a strong stint in the AFL. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to replicate it at his repeated season in Memphis.
Naughton has been removed from the roster in the past and is a minor league free agent once they declare.
Rodriguez was a Rule V pick last season that was injured and missed the full season; rather than committing an active roster spot to him, they decided to cut him free.
The 40-man roster in now full; they’ll probably non-tender some arbitration eligible players to make room for free agents.
Qualifying Offer Decisions
Seven players received qualifying offers from their former clubs, and all 7 rejected them; Shohei Ohtani, Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, Sonny Gray, Josh Hader, Aaron Nola and Blake Snell all now have draft pick compensation tied to them. None of the players wanted to settle for a 1 year, $20.325M contract.
The Cardinals have had some rumored ties to Gray, Nola, and Snell, and they will cost the Cardinals their second round draft pick if the team were to sign one of them, along with $500k of international bonus money.
I’m torn on losing the pick. The Cardinals are an organization that historically builds their teams around their draft. The problem is they haven’t been able to turn one of their drafted pitcher into a top of the rotation guy that they currently need. In fact, a majority of the guys they’ve drafted have been role players. This will have to be a year to sacrifice picks to help the team.
MLBTR Top 25 Trade Candidates
MLB Trade Rumors posted their Top 25 Trade Candidates for the off-season and the Cardinals have a few players on it. Dylan Carlson (17) and Brendan Donovan (21) are on it, while Alec Burleson, Tommy Edman, Nolan Gorman, and Tyler O’Neill are all honorable mentions.
I’d hate to see Carlson go; I think he’s just scratched the surface of his talent and he’s a healthy season away from proving it. Donovan and Edman are redundant as super-utility guys; I like both, but I’d take the extra year of Donovan over the slightly better player in Edman. If you trade Gorman, you almost would have to keep both Donovan and Edman with one as your full time second baseman. O’Neill would be selling low, but I’m OK with that if it means clearing out an outfield spot (even if you do trade Edman); dealing O’Neill almost requires hanging onto Burleson.
I was surprised Luken Baker wasn’t on the honorable mentions; he’s got a lot of potential and a lot of teams would take him as a 1B/DH guy.
Here are the rumored players the Cardinals are “in on”; remember, John Mozeliak is looking for 3 starters to pair with Miles Mikolas and Steven Matz and a couple of relievers (no word on any position players).
- Jordan Montgomery is on record that he wants to sign with familiar team, or those he’s previously played for: the Cardinals, Yankees, or Rangers. He knows what to expect from each organization, each city, each fanbase. It makes sense. On the other hand, if the Dodgers were to offer him $30M a season (which is over the AAV of the 5 yr, $127MM he’s predicted to get), I imagine learning a new team wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Teams Interested: Cardinals, Yankees, Rangers
- Yoshinobu Yamamoto could be an interesting case. The Japanese pitcher is drawing interest from almost everyone. The Cardinals have a tie to him through Lars Nootbaar, his WBC teammate; it’s also come out that Nootbaar’s mom and Yamamoto’s mom are friends and Noot’s mom could be recruiting him for the Cardinals. Noot watched Yomamoto pitch in the NPB post-season and sat with the pitchers mom during the game. Teams Interested: Cardinals, Phillies, Yankees, Blue Jays, Mets, Giants, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Tigers
- There hasn’t been much between the Cardinals and Aaron Nola so far, other than an early report that the Cardinals had targeted the pitcher and fans talking about him. He’s interested in returning to the Phillies, so other teams might have to up the ante to get him. Teams Interested: Cardinals, Phillies, Yankees, Braves
- NL Cy Young Award Winner Blake Snell is probably seeing offered increase after it was announced he won the award; it was expected that he was asking for a lot prior to being named the best pitcher in the NL. The Cardinals haven’t been formally tied to him yet, but I’d expect they’d at least kick the tires here. Teams Interested: Padres, Dodgers, Giants
- Sonny Gray was AL CY runner up, and, like Snell, his price tag could see a bump because of it. He’s one of 2 pitchers specifically named by Derrick Goold (with Nola) that the Cards are wanting. Teams Interested: Cardinals, Twins (long shot), Phillies, Dodgers, Cubs, Reds,
- Tyler Glasnow is the top trade option available; he’s got a year left of club control and is making $25M. If he’s not traded, the Rays will be offering him a QO to get the draft pick; they are expected to have that type of player built into a deal. No teams are currently rumored to be in on Glasnow, but expect a lot of teams to check in on him, including the Cardinals, who have the depth to acquire him.
- The Cards have also been tied to another Japanese pitcher: reliever Yuki Matsui (I wrote a small scouting report on him here). He’s one of many relievers MLB Trade Rumors listed, along with Josh Hader, Aroldis Chapman, Matt Moore, Jordan Hicks, Reynaldo Lopez, and Joe Jimenez (who already re-signed with Atlanta). Goold added Phil Maton to the list as well.
- Not player related, but Chaim Bloom’s name came up as a potential advisor to the front office; I would be happy if they pulled the trigger. He originated in the Ray’s front office, so he could help the Cardinals in the analytic department. Maybe he could be the next GM-in-waiting?
And here are rumors on current Cardinals…
- The Blue Jays are interested in Carlson, and could show renewed interest in Donovan and Nootbaar, both of whom they asked about at the trade deadline. One name that keeps popping up is Alek Manoah, as both are seen as change of scenery candidates.
- Donovan is also drawing interested from the Yankees, along with Burleson. The Yankees have pitching, which the Cardinals are desperate need of.
Former Cardinals In The News
Here’s a quick rundown on some former Cardinals:
- Skip Schumaker is the NL Manager Of The Year for the Miami Marlins; disgruntled fans are already questioning the Cardinals decision to make Oli Marmol manager over Skip. It was reported a few weeks back that Skip was unhappy with the Marlins for former GM Kim Ng resigning.
- Johan Oviedo is experiencing elbow soreness and Tommy John surgery could be on the table. Oviedo had a solid 2023 with the Pirates and this is a huge blow for their rotation (but good for the Cardinals, who won’t have to face him).
- Mike Shildt’s name was popping up in some of the now filled manager jobs, but he’s still the favorite for Padres job, where he’s been working since he was fired by the Cardinals.
Quick hits from across the web:
- Victor Scott II won a minor league Gold Glove. His name has been popping up as the centerfielder of the future (possibly 2024).
- The Cardinals announced 2024 ticket packages and promotion schedule.
- HOF Expert Jay Jaffe looks at the case of Bill White.
- Cards Conclave does the exit interview for Ivan Herrera.
- Redbird Rants looks at a Cardinal/Marcus Stroman matchup.
- Brenden Schaeffer looks at how 3 starting pitchers needed may become 2.
- SI.com lists Scott Barlow of the Padres as a match for the Cardinals; Barlow could be non-tendered, so the Cards could make a move for him after he hits the market.