photo: Ivan Herrera (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
The deadline for Major League Baseball teams to add eligible minor league players to their respective 40-man rosters to protect them from the Rule 5 draft is this Friday, November 20.
I spoke with Dan McLaughlin on our Wednesday With Walton podcast about the St. Louis Cardinals’ possible strategy with both protecting players from the December 10 Rule 5 draft as well as other potential upcoming moves affecting the team’s 40-man roster. (Please listen to the two-minute clip just below.)
— 101 ESPN St. Louis (@101espn) November 18, 2020
The Cardinals made their first related move two days early. But will it be the only one prior to Friday’s freeze?
We have selected the contract of C Ivan Herrera and added him to the 40-man roster.
Our 40-man roster currently stands at 38. pic.twitter.com/33iHKlmXHs
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) November 18, 2020
Frankly, I was surprised – not by the choice or its timing, but by the fact that Herrera was the only player added. After all, this is a no-brainer if there ever was one. The 20-year old, a native of Panama, is a consensus top five prospect in the system and the next in a long line of top candidates to one day take the place of Yadier Molina as the team’s long-term catcher. (Note his number in the main photo.)
While the Cardinals still have two more days to make other changes, with open space on the roster right now, if they were planning to add others, what would be the benefit in waiting? I’ve not seen this kind of piecemeal approach followed in the past.
Then again, if there is one thing we should have learned in this wild year of 2020 (and most recently reinforced by the decline of Kolten Wong’s option for 2021) is that the old expectations for team behavior regarding contracts and rosters are no longer valid.
Perhaps the organization is willing to gamble that pitcher Angel Rondon and catcher Julio Rodriguez, among others, will either not be taken in Rule 5, or they will be returned to the Cardinals before completing the entire 2021 regular season on the major league roster of the selecting team.
The first part of the answer will be clear by this Friday evening.
For members of The Cardinal Nation, I broke out the status of the most prominent three dozen of the Cardinals Rule 5 eligible players, also noting which may be at-risk of being lost in the minor league phase of the Rule 5. This is detailed information you will not find elsewhere!
Full roster detail at The Cardinal Nation
To view and to track the status of all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.
Detailed team rosters for the entire system can be accessed via the red menu column at the top left (see “ROSTERS/PLAYERS/MOVES”).
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