photo: Mike Mayers (Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images)
St. Louis Cardinals press release
The St. Louis Cardinals announced several roster moves today (Friday, November 1), as they moved three players from the 60-day Injured List to the team’s 40-man Major League roster and outrighted catcher Joe Hudson.
Added to the team’s 40-man roster from the 60-day Injured List were right-handed pitcher Jordan Hicks, left-handed pitcher Brett Cecil and outfielder Lane Thomas.
The team also announced that right-handed pitcher Mike Mayers was claimed on waivers by the Los Angeles Angels.
The Cardinals 40-man Major League roster currently stands at 37.
Brian Walton’s take
And so the first of the Cardinals’ off-season player adjustments begin with two 40-man roster removals that were of no surprise.
Further, MLB teams’ use of the injured list is not allowed during the off-season, necessitating the 60-day IL moves.
As a note, St. Louis’ fourth 60-day IL player, pitcher Tony Cingrani, was removed on Thursday and granted free agency, along with pitchers Adam Wainwright, catcher Matt Wieters and outfielder Marcell Ozuna.
Hudson had been added to the 40-man roster and promoted to St. Louis on September 1 to serve as fourth catcher. At the time, regular reserve backstop Matt Wieters was out for a short period due to injury and Hudson was promoted as inexpensive insurance behind Yadier Molina and Andrew Knizner.
Hudson’s official St. Louis stint consisted of one at-bat, during which he struck out. He previously had 12 at-bats with the 2018 Angels before after signing with St. Louis as a minor league free agent last November.
The 28-year old spent all of 2019 with Memphis, where he hit a very modest .223 but was solid defensively while performing in a job-share with Knizner. Hudson is subsequently likely to become a minor league free agent once again and move elsewhere for 2020.
Speaking of the Angels, it is the new home for Mayers, who like Hudson, was expected to be removed from the 40-man roster following the season. Neither was active during the playoffs.
Mayers made his St. Louis debut in July 2016 and appeared in 73 games for the Cardinals over four seasons, logging a 7.07 ERA in his 80 2/3 mound innings. His 2019 mark was only slightly better, at 6.63 in 19 innings pitched.
Because he was already outrighted once (back in early August), Mayers would have been able to declare free agency when outrighted a second time. He never got that far, however, as Los Angeles claimed him instead.
Mayers became expendable as he was passed by younger, more promising relievers who also offer the Cardinals more roster flexibility in the future. Out of minor league options, Mayers will have to stick with the Angels’ big-league club next spring or he will end up on the waiver wire again.
In the meantime, Mayers offers inexpensive bullpen depth for Los Angeles. With two years, 20 days of MLB service time, the 27-year old does not yet qualify for a salary increase via the arbitration process.
The Cardinals made these two moves to clear up 40-man roster space to protect eligible prospects ahead of the December Rule 5 draft and give them additional flexibility for trades and free agent additions. Top candidates to be added by the November 20 Rule 5 deadline are pitcher Jake Woodford and third baseman Elehuris Montero.
To track the Cardinals’ 25- and 40-man rosters as well as 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.
If you enjoyed this article and you want to unlock more, please consider joining The Cardinal Nation to receive the most comprehensive coverage of the St. Louis Cardinals through the entire minor league system.
© 2019 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.