Cardinals Rule 5 Draft

In the minor-league portion of the Rule 5 draft, the Cardinals took two outfielders, Angel Moreno (Tampa Bay) and Jean Selmo (Arizona). They lost infielder Jacob Wilson, who was left available on the Class AA roster and taken by the Washington Nationals.

The Cardinals did not lose a player in the major-league portion of the Rule 5 draft, and they did not select one.

They went into the draft believing they had a full 40-man roster.

(Luke Gregerson had not yet been added as their 40th by the start of the draft, and trades involving Sandy Alcantara, Magneuris Sierra and Stephen Piscotty are set to be completed Thursday afternoon or later.)

 

Angel Moreno: Signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 for $188,000. Moreno’s value will primarily be dictated on the progression of his hit tool, but he displays a solid approach along with moderate barrel control. The defense is merely solid, but he will be able to stick in CF. The risk is high due to his age and lack of experience against stronger competition.

Average bat speed; loose wrists; moderate barrel control; minimal load; does not use bottom half; swing is balanced and quiet; ability to recognize spin is present; chases too many pitches out of the zone currently; showing ability to foul off bad pitches; needs to lay off more of these.

Below-average raw power; swing is linear and not conducive for in-game power; gap-to-gap hitter.

4.33 home to first; shows more speed in OF; agile; lacks a high-end second gear.

Efficient routes and reads; first step is accurate and instinctive; lacks high-end agility and speed.

Average arm strength; lacks carry from middle depth in CF; accurate throws.

Source: Derrick Goold

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Cardinals Want a Third Baseman Now!

MLB Netrwork was reporting The Cardinals are not going anywhere soon. They are actually staying in Orlando until they leave with a third baseman .

  • Orioles VP of baseball ops Dan Duquette made clear today that he does not foresee striking a deal involving third baseman Manny Machado that is contingent upon extension negotiations, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post was among those to report on Twitter. In other words, it seems any acquiring team would be gaining just one year of control over over Machado. Sherman also hears that the odds are in favor of a deal at this point, tweeting that the White Sox and Cardinals are the “most aggressive” teams in pursuit of the young superstar.
  • While evidently maintaining interest in Machado and pursuing other fronts, the Cardinals are also still “pushing” the Blue Jays to offer up their own star third baseman, Josh Donaldson, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). At this point, though, there’s no reason to believe that Toronto will budge from its stance on Donaldson — namely, that it’s not interested in moving him for anything approaching a reasonable return.
  • For weeks, there have been the rumors of Alex Colome heading to the St. Louis Cardinals and once the Tampa Bay Rays made it known that they are will to trade some of their higher priced veterans, including Evan Longoria the wheels started to turn faster with the tires burning some rubber.

    Almost immediately, rumors circulated that the Cardinals were interested in Longoria and could possibly seek to acquire not only Colome, but would consider adding Longoria in the same transaction.

    With the Cardinals acquiring Marcell Ozuna on Wednesday from the Miami Marlins, speculation on my part is that a potential Colome/Longoria deal could be in the works. St. Louis has all the moving and missing pieces that the Rays need – right-handed hitting outfielders and a right-handed hitting catcher

Source: MLBTradeRumors/ Althea Pashman with Fansided

 

 

Piscotty Deal is Done!!

The Athletics have officially acquired outfielder Stephen Piscotty from the Cardinals. Minor league infielders Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock will head back to St. Louis in the swap.

Piscotty, who seemed like a shoo-in to leave the Cardinals via trade entering the offseason, became especially superfluous to the Redbirds when they swung a blockbuster to acquire fellow outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins on Wednesday. That deal left the Cardinals with three highly qualified starting outfielders in Ozuna, Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham, thus leading to the end of Piscotty’s tenure with the club.

Now 26, Piscotty joined the St. Louis organization as a first-round pick in 2012 and flashed moments of brilliance during his short major league stint there. Between his debut in 2015 and the end of the ’16 campign, the right-handed hitter slashed a terrific .282/.348/.467 with 29 home runs and a 3.9 fWAR in 905 plate appearances. The auspicious start to Piscotty’s career was enough to convince the Cardinals to award him a six-year extension worth a guaranteed $33.5MM prior to last season.

Unfortunately for St. Louis, early returns on the newly extended Piscotty weren’t positive in 2017. While Piscotty managed to significantly increase his walk rate to 13 percent (up from around 8 percent from 2015-16), his offensive production took an overall dive as he batted a disappointing .235/.342/.367 with nine homers and a subpar .132 ISO (down 53 points from the previous two seasons).

The Athletics will now hope for a bounce-back from Piscotty, a Northern California native and Stanford alumnus. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that the Cards hoped a Piscotty trade would give him a chance to be closer to his mother, who’s battling ALS, and they were able to make good on that.

As Piscotty deals with a tragic situation off the field, he may be in line for a revival on it; his age, 2015-16 output and batted-ball misfortune are all encouraging signs. Piscotty finished 2017 with a .319 wOBA, but the number should have been closer to a solid .340, according to Statcast.

If Piscotty does return to something resembling his best form in Oakland, he’ll be an effective, affordable and young piece for the low-payroll club. The A’s saw other position player building blocks in first baseman Matt Olson and third baseman Matt Chapman come to the fore in 2017, and, barring trades, have established hitters on hand in DH Khris Davis, corner outfielder Matt Joyce, second baseman Jed Lowrie and shortstop Marcus Semien. Piscotty, who’s likely to play opposite Joyce in one of the corners next year, is now in line to join a growing group of talent on a rebuilding club.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who has long reported upon the A’s interest in Piscotty, reported yesterday that the deal was nearing completion and today that a framework was in place (Twitter link). Jon Heyman of FanRag tweeted the deal was in place, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported it was moving forward this morning, and MLB.com’s Jane Lee tweeted the swap was official.

Max Schrock: Athletic, utility infielder who grinds out at-bats, plays average defense, and has an advanced feel for the game. Makes consistent contact and has a compact stroke with bat control that plays vs. advanced pitching. Does not have loud, splashy tools, but competes and gets the most out of his ability. Don’t project him to develop much more power, but will get stronger and can see him having consistent gap pop in the future. Game clock and arm accuracy play up the fringe-average arm strength; athleticism will allow him to move around defensively; won’t kill you at shortstop. Like the energy – ingredients there to be a role player at the major league level – see him getting enough at-bats to be considered a “regular.” Over-achiever, baseball player

Yairo Munoz: Munoz struggled to adjust to the pitching at Double-A last season, finishing the campaign with just a .240/.286/.367 batting line over 102 games. That has changed in his second season at the level, as the 22-year-old has slashed .316/.348/.532 with six home runs and 12 stolen bases over 47 contests, all the while maintaining a reasonable strikeout rate. He will attempt to keep things rolling at Triple-A

Source: MLBTradeRumors and CBSSports

Is Piscotty Going to the Athletics?

Slusser has added a few more conceivable players in conversations in an updated version of her story. It seems that the sides could be contemplating some of the A’s relief arms.

The dominoes from the Cardinals’ reported acquisition of Marcell Ozunaare beginning to fall, it seems. Per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Athletics’ long-standing interest in Cards outfielder Stephen Piscotty could conceivably come to fruition with a deal before the Winter Meetings end.

Oakland is not willing to part with its best young assets, according to the report, but Slusser says the discussions have revolved around some of the A’s available 40-man assets. One name under consideration, she notes, is infielder Yairo Munoz, a 23-year-old who reached the top level of the minors in 2017.

Piscotty, who’ll soon turn 27, thrived in his first two seasons in the majors, posting a cumulative .282/.348/.467 slash and hitting 29 home runs in his first 905 MLB plate appearances. He ended up striking a six-year, $33.5MM extension at the start of the 2017 campaign.

Things haven’t progressed as hoped since that time, however. Piscotty missed some time due to injury and ended the year with 401 plate appearances of .235/.342/.367 output through 401 trips to the plate. On the positive side, Piscotty did neary double his walk rate to 13.0% even as his power dipped.

Piscotty continues to grade as a solid defender but subpar baserunner. If he can regain his form at the dish, there’s good reason to think he could be a quality regular in the corner — which is just what the A’s are in search of.

Source: Jeff Todd

 

Former Cardinals Players in HR Contest

 

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The River City Rascals are excited to announce former Cardinal sluggers Jim Edmonds, Rick Ankiel, Mark Whiten, and Ray Lankford will be participating in the 2018 Frontier League Home Run Derby. The 2018 Frontier League Home Run Derby will feature the top home run hitters from around the league against these former major leaguers at CarShield Field on Tuesday, July 10 at 8:00 PM.

 

Tickets for the 2018 Frontier League Home Run Derby will be available for as low as $15, but fans can upgrade their Home Run Derby ticket to a $50 autograph pass ticket that includes access to a two-hour pre-game autograph experience with Edmonds, Ankiel, Whiten, and Lankford. A limited amount of autograph pass tickets are available and will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.  Tickets will go on sale to the public on Wednesday, December 13 at 9:00 AM CST.  Fans can reserve their tickets by calling the Rascals’ Box Office at (636) 240-2287 or order online at www.rivercityrascals.com.

The Derby will begin at 8:00 PM with gates opening to the general public at 7:00 PM. Fans that purchased a pre-game autograph experience ticket will receive early entry to the ballpark with gates opening at 4:30 PM. Players will be available to sign autographs on the field beginning at 5:00 PM and concluding at 7:00 PM. Fans are not guaranteed to receive autographs from all players but will be able to visit and receive autographs from as many players as possible in the allotted time frame.  Fans are welcome to bring their own items to be autographed but will be limited to one autograph per person, per player – no photos or inscriptions.

           2018 Frontier League Home Run Derby Pricing:

Tuesday, July 10th @ 8:00 PM

Home Run Derby Tickets = $15
Home Run Derby + Pre-Game Autograph Experience = $50

 

The 2018 Frontier League Home Run Derby and All-Star Game features the best players from the league expanding over seven states. Fans, players, and front office executives from each of the twelve teams will travel to O’Fallon, Missouri for the two-day event and all the corresponding activities. The Frontier League started in 1993 and has produced a tremendous number of players who have made their way to The Show.

 

Details for the 2018 Frontier League All-Star Game and ticket information will be released at a later date.

 

Sponsorship opportunities are also available for the 2018 Frontier League All-Star Week. For more information on the 2018 Frontier League All-Star Week sponsor packages please contact the Rascals at (636) 240-2287 or by email at sponsorship@rivercityrascals.com.

 

Jim Edmonds – A four-time all-star, eight-time Gold Glove award winner, and World Series Champion, Jim Edmonds had a long and successful playing career, spending seventeen years in the big leagues. Known mostly for his outstanding defense, Edmonds shined in his eight years with the Cardinals – racking up six of his eight Gold Gloves. He was no slouch at the plate either finishing his career with 393 home runs and close to 2,000 hits. Fast forward to today and you will find Edmonds serving as an analyst on the Cardinals Live pre-game and post-game broadcasts.

 

Rick Ankiel – Being one of the few individuals to ever succeed at both hitting and pitching in the show, Rick Ankiel was drafted by the Cardinals in the second round of the 1997 season. After finishing second in the Rookie of the Year award race, Ankiel continued pitching for the next few seasons until converting to outfield in 2005. Ankiel produced 244 hits and 47 homers for the Cardinals. Today, Ankiel has recently released a book on his time in the Majors titled, “The Phenomenon: Pressure, the Yips, and the Pitch that Changed My Life.”

 

Ray Lankford – A 1997 All-Star, Ray Lankford spent 14 years in the MLB, starting and ending his career with the Cardinals. In 2004, Lankford finished out his career in the Cardinals’ Top 10 in multiple categories including home runs, stolen bases, and runs scored. As a Cardinal, he is the only player to have 200 home runs and 200 stolen bases. In 2005, he accepted a nomination for the All-Time Busch Stadium Team, commemorating the final season at Busch Stadium. Lankford now resides in Florida.

 

Mark Whiten – Mark Whiten had an MLB batting average of .259 and had 423 RBIs. Whiten’s standout game came on September 7, 1993 in a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds. Whiten hit four home runs in one game joining an elite group of only seventeen other players who accomplished this feat in all of MLB history. He also drove in twelve runs during that game, tying Jim Bottomley with RBIs in a single game. In his eleven-year career, Whiten had 423 RBIs, 465 runs scored, and 105 home runs, with a .259 overall batting average.

 For more information or to order your tickets call (636) 240-2287 or visit www.rivercityrascals.com.

Source: River City Rascals

Cardinals In On Ozuna

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There’s plenty of interest in the Marlins outfield even now that it no longer features Giancarlo Stanton. We have heard lots of chatter surrounding Marcell Ozunaalready, and there’s yet more intriguing news now emerging on him and teammate Christian Yelich.

The Cardinals are emerging as the favorites from a six to eight team field to land Ozuna, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link). Word emerged earlier today that the Cards have interest in sending multiple, controllable outfielders in order to acquire one premium asset, though it’s not yet clear that’s what’s under contemplation. The teams are surely already quite familiar with one another’s feelings on prospects after negotiating over Stanton.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals are also among ten or so teams that have inquired on Yelich, per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro (via Twitter), reflecting longstanding interest that has been covered in recent weeks. The Braves and Diamondbacks are also in that grouping, he notes. Both of those teams make for interesting potential trade partners; in both cases, the interest is likely driven more by their views on Yelich than need, per se.

Clearly, there’s an interesting interplay here between the markets of these two productive teammates. As Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes on Twitter, Yelich is considered the more desirable asset given his lengthy, team-friendly contract. His report suggests the Fish would prefer to make a deal for Ozuna first, as the organization has given indications it would like to try to find a way to retain Yelich. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out given the multi-faceted considerations at play.

While he only has two years of control remaining and will play at a projected $10.9MM in 2018, Ozuna is fresh off of a monster 2017 season in which he blasted 37 home runs and slashed .312/.376/.548 over 679 plate appearances. That handily outpaced Yelich, whose own .282/.369/.439 batting line represented a step back from an outstanding 2016 season. Still, many around the game are enamored of Yelich’s bat as well as his overall game, so he’s plainly the more valuable trade piece in light of the fact that he can be controlled through 2022. (His contract promises just $44.5MM, including a buyout on a $15MM club option for that ’22 campaign.

Source: Jeff Todd

Cardinals Sign Gregerson

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Cardinals have signed free agent reliever Luke Gregerson to a two-year deal worth $11 million. The deal, which is pending a physical, also includes a vesting option for the 2020 season.

Gregerson, 33, spent the last three seasons with the Astros, culminating in a championship in 2017. During the regular season, he posted a 4.57 ERA with a 70/20 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. He didn’t allow a run in 3 2/3 innings across five appearances in the postseason.

Peripherals suggest Gregerson could have a bounce-back year in 2018, if one believes his home run rate — 13 allowed in 55 total fly balls, or 23.6 percent — to be a fluke. The right-hander’s strikeout rates the past two seasons — 29.1 percent and 26.6 percent — have been his highest since his first two seasons in the majors.

Now that the Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Ohtani situations have been settled, we’re likely to see a lot of free agent dominoes start to fall, especially with the winter meetings getting under way.

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