St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of December 13-19

In the St. Louis Cardinals week that was, the MLB lockout continues with no end in sight. The team has announced 10 theme nights for 2022. Our history feature highlights top trades and signings made during this period in prior years. Adam Wainwright’s 2003 arrival leads the way.



MLB Lockout update

It is unlikely that Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association will have any talks concerning core economic issues until January, reported Evan Drellich of The Athletic on Wednesday, December 15.

Drellich stated that sources with knowledge of the talks say the parties have had some communication since the Collective Bargaining Agreement expired on December 1 and that a meeting was scheduled to occur on Thursday December 16.  The agenda was not expected to include larger issues such as free agency or arbitration but was to focus on smaller, less divisive topics.

The last time an in-person meeting occurred between the two parties on December 1, MLB did not make any counteroffer to the MLBPA’s last proposal, according to several media sources at the time.  Commissioner Rob Manfred claims the league did make a counter, but both MLBPA lead negotiator Bruce Meyer and MLBPA President Tony Clark insist that MLB offered only to make a proposal if the Union would drop their top demands.

The lockout, which was instituted by MLB and not required under any existing law, continues, and when the sides will get together to have actual substantive talks instead of posturing through the media, is anyone’s guess.  The pressure to end the stalemate will increase for both sides as the time for Spring Training to begin draws nearer. How much damage to the sport will be incurred in the meantime is yet to be seen and is a risk that the owners were clearly willing to take when they announced the lockout on December 2.

For any further updates to the lockout situation, check this report each week.

Cardinals announce special events

Planning for the 2022 regular season continues. Just before Thanksgiving, the Cardinals announced their Promotional Schedule for the upcoming season, which includes 40 giveaways. Details here:

https://www.mlb.com/cardinals/tickets/promotions/2022

This past week, 10 Theme Nights during the 2022 home schedule were also announced.

https://www.mlb.com/cardinals/tickets/specials/theme-tickets

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.

Transactions

There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

There are no new injuries to report.

Looking Ahead

As of 11:59 p.m. ET on December 1, the MLB/MLBPA Collective Bargaining Agreement expired. The Commissioner’s Office announced that the owners of all 30 teams voted unanimously to institute a lockout of MLB players effective immediately.

As a result of the lockout, all major league transactions are halted indefinitely. Players and team personnel are prohibited from communicating with each other and players are not permitted to use team facilities. The parties may continue to negotiate to reach an agreement that would end the lockout.

Depending on how long the lockout continues, the exchanging of salary amounts for arbitration purposes, which occurs in mid-January, may be delayed. The Cardinals annual Winter Warm-Up, which occurs in January, is still scheduled to occur as of this writing but will likely be canceled.

There will be no major league activity to report for the foreseeable future as long as the lockout continues.

Blast from the Past

All fans of baseball are suffering through the lack of offseason activity due to the MLB instituted lockout, which shows no signs of coming to a quick conclusion. In an attempt to alleviate some of the boredom imposed on fans by this lockout, this week’s Blast from the Past will remember past signings and trades of significance  by the Cardinals that occurred during the period of December 13 through 19.

  • Chris Carpenter

    On December 13, 2002, the Cardinals signed free agent RHP Chris Carpenter. Carpenter had been outrighted from the 40-man roster of the Toronto Blue Jays after six major league seasons there and was offered a minor league deal by the Blue Jays, which he declined.  Carpenter’s years with Toronto were injury plagued, and those injuries continued to haunt the right hander during his first season with the Cardinals.  Carpenter had signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals with a 2004 option, which the Cardinals declined.  Nevertheless, Carpenter re-signed with the Cardinals for a lesser deal and returned for 2004, a decision that proved beneficial for both parties.  He went on to have a good career in St. Louis that included a 2005 Cy Young Award and three All-Star appearances.

  • Adam Wainwright (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

    On December 13, 2003, the Cardinals traded outfielder J.D. Drew and catcher Eli Marrero to the Atlanta Braves for pitchers Adam Wainwright, Ray King and Jason Marquis. Marquis was with the Cardinals for three seasons and King for two, but Wainwright has remained with the team to the present.  Though 2022 is likely Wainwright’s final year as a player, it has been a memorable career for the right hander. This is among the best trades in Cardinals history, behind the Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio deal.  The Ozzie Smith trade is also up there in significance.  Wainwright has amassed a career, all with St. Louis, that include four top three finishes in the Cy Young Award voting (including seventh place in 2021).  He has won two Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger and has been selected for three All-Star Games.  He led the NL in wins and innings pitched twice in his career.

  • December 14, 2017 – The Cardinals traded OF Stephen Piscotty to the Oakland Athletics for infielders Max Schrock and Yairo Munoz. Piscotty was a first-round draft selection in 2012 as compensation for the loss of Albert Pujols to free agency.  Piscotty had a decent three seasons with St. Louis.  He hit 22 home runs in 2016 before signing a six-year contract with the Cardinals in 2017.  In May, he took personal leave due to his mother having been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  At the end of the 2017 season, Piscotty was traded to the Oakland Athletics, the team closest to his hometown where his mother resided.  She died in May 2018.
  • Willie McGee, 1983

    December 15, 1995 – The Cardinals signed free agent OF Willie McGee. This was McGee’s second stint with the Cardinals.  McGee came to the team originally in a 1981 trade with the Yankees.  His nine seasons with St. Louis were the best of his career, which included an MVP award and a batting title in 1985, four trips to the All-Star Game and three Gold Glove Awards.  The Cardinals signed him the second time in 1995, and he finished his major league career in St. Louis, retiring at the end of the 1999 season.  He is currently a major league coach with the Cardinals.

  • December 15, 1999 – The Cardinals signed free agent catcher Mike Matheny. Matheny played five seasons with St. Louis, from 2000 through 2004 as the team’s primary catcher.  He became a free agent after 2004 and signed with the Giants.  He was replaced at catcher by Yadier Molina.  Matheny returned to St. Louis as club’s manager in 2012 and remained until he was fired mid-season in 2018.  He is currently the manager of the Kansas City Royals.
  • December 18, 2004 – The Cardinals acquired LHP Mark Mulder from the Oakland Athletics in a trade that sent RHP Dan Haren, RHP Kiko Calero, and 1B Daric Barton to Oakland. Mulder had one good season with the Cardinals in 2005 and then spent the next three seasons battling shoulder injuries and was ineffective for the remainder of his time in St. Louis.  The Cardinals declined his 2009 option and Mulder retired.  In contrast, Haren went on to have 11 more seasons in the major leagues with multiple teams.  He was selected to the All-Star team three times, once with Oakland and twice with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Teams make good trades and bad trades and this one was not one of the Cardinals’ better trades.

In anticipation of the continuation of the lockout, Blast from the Past may be back next week with another installment of December transaction history.


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