St. Louis Cardinals MLB Notebook – Week of December 2-8

photo: Ted Simmons (Getty Images)

Welcome to The Cardinal Nation’s quick but complete recap of the prior week’s St. Louis Cardinals news, posted each Monday morning and soon heading into its fifth consecutive year.

Ted Simmons

Simmons elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

On Sunday, the Modern Era Baseball Committee, meeting in San Diego on the first day of the Winter Meetings, selected former St. Louis Cardinals catcher Ted Simmons for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2020 class.

Candidates before the Modern Era Committee needed 75 percent of the vote to be selected.  Simmons received 13 votes, 81.3% of the total.  Simmons is joined by the late Marvin Miller, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association from 1966 to 1982, who garnered 12 votes.

The catcher played 13 seasons with the Cardinals, after making his major league debut on September 21, 1968 at the age of 19.  Simmons’ career slash line with the Cardinals was .298/.366/.459 with 172 home runs and 929 RBI.  Simmons, aka “Simba”, was an eight time All-Star, six with St. Louis.  Simmons was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on December 12, 1980.  He finished his career with the Atlanta Braves, retiring after the 1988 season.

Simmons was voted by fans into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2015 and will become the 50th inductee to the Baseball Hall of Fame with ties to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Cardinals tender contract to Gant

The non-tender deadline came and went last Monday, December 2.  The Cardinals had one arbitration eligible player for whom they had to make a decision.  Gant was tendered a contract for 2020, as was announced prior to the deadline.

The 27 year old right handed pitcher entered his first year of arbitration and was the team’s sole arbitration eligible player after RHP Dominic Leone was designated for assignment on November 20 and subsequently released.

The Cardinals and Gant will submit salary figures on or before January 10, 2020 unless both parties reach agreement prior to that date on a 2020 salary.  Gant’s salary in 2019 was $571,300 and he could double that. Arbitration hearings begin in February, but the parties can agree on a salary any time prior to then.

The Cardinals also tendered contracts to the remaining players on the team’s 40-man roster who did not have contracts for the 2020 season.  The salaries for those remaining players typically are set at or close to the Major League minimum when they are renewed in the spring.

John Gant

Cardinals receive Competitive Balance draft pick

The Competitive Balance picks and selection order have been set for the 2020 First-Year Player Draft.  The Cardinals will receive one of eight Competitive Balance picks in Round A, which is tentatively overall pick No. 38.  The draft order after the first round is subject to change depending on what happens to the six free agents who declined a qualifying offer and have not yet signed with a team for 2020.

The Cardinals will also receive a compensation pick after Competitive Balance Round B should free agent Marcell Ozuna sign with another team prior to the June Draft.  Ozuna declined the qualifying offer from the Cardinals in November.

The Cardinals have pick No. 21 in the first round of the draft, which is scheduled for June 8-10 2020.

Trade and Acquisition Rumors

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals have had discussions about starting pitching options on the free agent market.  They have explored what left-hander Madison Bumgarner is seeking as a free agent and considered Dallas Keuchel and Wade Miley as well.


There are no transactions to report.

Injury Report

There are no new injuries to report.

Looking Ahead

The Winter Meetings officially begin on Monday, December 9.  Transactions such as trades and the signing of free agents are often accomplished at these meetings.  The last day, December 12, is highlighted by the annual Rule 5 draft.  The Cardinals now have a full 40-man roster, so will not make a pick in the major league phase of the draft unless subtractions from the roster occur before that date.

Following the Winter Meetings, the next important date on the MLB offseason calendar is January 10.  This is when teams and their arbitration eligible players both submit salary amounts.  The Cardinals have only one applicable player, John Gant.

Blast from the Past

The Competitive Balance Picks and tentative draft order for the 2020 June draft have been announced.  The June draft includes both Competitive Balance Rounds and Supplemental Rounds which occur between the first and second rounds of the draft.  Competitive Balance picks are a recent phenomenon, first introduced in the 2012-2016 Major League Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  Compensatory Picks, however, have been a part of the draft since 1988.  This week’s blast from the past looks at some of the history of Cardinals’ compensatory draft picks.

Prior to 2013, free agents were categorized as either Type A or Type B players.  Type A free agents were players ranked in the top 20 percent of players at their positions.  Type B free agents were ranked between the top 20 and 40 percent of players at their positions.  Teams received two picks for Type A players, a pick from the team that signed them, and a supplemental pick for the loss of the player.  For Type B free agents teams received only a supplemental pick for losing the player.

Brian Jordan

This system changed in the 2012-2016 CBA, with the Type A or B classification removed beginning with the 2013 draft and replaced with a system in which teams make departing free agents qualifying offers, and if such offer is declined, the team receives a compensation pick if the departing free agent signs with another team prior to the next June draft.

In the first year of compensation picks in 1988, the Cardinals received two draft picks for the loss of first baseman Jack Clark.  Clark signed with the New York Yankees and the Cardinals received a compensation pick from the Yankees.  The Cardinals drafted pitcher John Ericks with that pick in the first round of the 1988 draft, the 22nd overall pick.  St. Louis also received a supplemental pick for the loss of Clark, which was used on outfielder Brian Jordan in the first round, the 30th overall pick.

Colby Rasmus (Getty Images)

Other notable compensatory picks since 1988 include Colby Rasmus, a first-round pick in the 2005 draft, 28th overall.  The Rasmus pick was a pick from the Red Sox as compensation for Edgar Renteria.  Lance Lynn was a supplemental pick in the 2008 draft for the loss of Troy Percival.  Patrick Wisdom, Stephen Piscotty, and Michael Wacha were all compensatory picks in the 2012 draft.  Wisdom was a supplemental pick for the loss of Octavio Dotel.  Piscotty was a supplemental pick for the loss of Albert Pujols, and Wacha was a pick from the Angels for Pujols.

Rob Kaminsky was the last compensatory pick from a team that signed a Cardinals free agent.  Teams that sign free agents no longer forfeit draft picks.  Kaminsky’s pick was received from the Milwaukee Brewers, after they signed free agent Kyle Lohse.

Other compensatory draft picks currently in the Cardinals system include Jack Flaherty, Jake Woodford, Jordan Hicks, Dylan Carlson and Dakota Hudson, so the team has made good use of these extra choices in recent years.

Teams currently receive a draft pick when qualifying offers are rejected by a player and the player signs with another team before the next June draft.  The Cardinals have one such player, Marcell Ozuna, for whom they will receive a 2020 draft pick if he signs elsewhere.

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