photo: Rob Kaminsky (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
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.
News and Notes
- The Cardinals announced the promotion of Patrick “Packy” Elkins from the position of professional scout to the Cardinals major league staff. Elkins will take on a newly created position of Major League Internal Player Strategist. Elkins was formerly an infielder in the Cardinals minor league system from 2010-2012, reaching the High A level in Palm Beach. The duties of the newly created position are to synthesize video and statistical data for the use of players and coaches.
More details can be found here.
- The Cardinals have signed one of their former pitching prospects, Rob Kaminsky, to a minor league deal. Kaminsky first joined the Cardinals in the first round of the 2013 draft as a high schooler and was traded in 2015 to the Cleveland Indians for Brandon Moss. Kaminsky, whose career was slowed by injury, is expected to provide bullpen depth from the left side at Memphis.
- The Rule 5 draft was held on Thursday, December 12 in San Diego. The Cardinals lost no players in the major league phase of the draft, and could not make a pick in that phase, as the major league roster is full. The Cardinals did choose three players in the minor league phase of the draft, all right handed pitchers. From Milwaukee the Cardinals drafted RHP Jordan Brink, a 26 year old hard thrower who has been clocked from 97-99 mph. Also drafted were right handed pitchers Enrique Saldana and Jacob Bosiokovic from Colorado. The Cardinals lost two players in the minor league phase, catcher Brian O’Keefe and first baseman Dariel Gomez.
More details on Kaminsky and the Rule 5 draft for TCN members here.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
MLB.com’s Jon Morosi tweeted during the Winter Meetings that the Cardinals are interested in left handed free agent pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu. The 32 year old former Dodgers starter has been reported to be seeking a three- to four-year deal.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported that the Cardinals are among several teams that may have had trade discussions with the Red Sox about pitcher David Price. The left-handed pitcher has three years and $96 million remaining on his contract, which had been the largest in MLB history for a pitcher until this off-season. The Cardinals offered Price a seven-year deal in 2015, before the Red Sox topped the Cardinals bid, but now the Sox are looking to shed salary.
Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports that the Cardinals have “heavily scouted” free agent Shogu Akiyama and could be suitors for the Japanese center fielder and leadoff candidate.
Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals are “intrigued” by left handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel and Ryu are among the top left handed starters available on the free agent market.
There are no transactions to report.
There are no new injuries to report.
The next important date on the MLB offseason calendar is January 10. This is the date when teams and their arbitration eligible players both submit salary amounts for a one-year contract. The Cardinals have only one arbitration eligible player, John Gant. Should the two sides not reach agreement, a hearing to determine his 2020 salary will be held some time in February.
The annual Cardinals Care Winter Warm-Up fan festival is scheduled for January 18-20 at the Hyatt Regency in St. Louis. Admission and autograph tickets are currently on sale at mlb.com/cardinals/fans/winter-warm-up. More details here.
Blast from the Past
The Winter Meetings took place this past week in San Diego. The Cardinals left without making any additions to the roster, though the team was the subject of several rumors during the meetings. This week’s Blast from the Past looks at memorable trades in franchise history during this mid-December time period.
On December 9, 1980, the Cardinals acquired future Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter from the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Leon Durham and infielder Ken Reitz. Sutter spent four seasons with the Cardinals and was the NL saves leader in 1984 with 45 saves.
On December 10, 1981, the Cardinals acquired shortstop Ozzie Smith from the San Diego Padres for Garry Templeton, Sexto Lezcano, and Al Olmstead. Future Hall of Famer Smith played his final 15 seasons with St. Louis, amassing 14 All Star appearances, 11 Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger award.
On December 12, 1980, the Cardinals traded Ted Simmons, Rollie Fingers, and Pete Vuckovich to the Milwaukee Brewers for David Green, Dave LaPoint, Sixto Lezcano and Lary Sorensen. This Whitey Herzog-driven trade was widely considered one of the worst made by the Cardinals. Both Fingers and Vuckovich won Cy Young Awards with the Brewers and Simmons was one of the best catchers in franchise history, recently selected as part the 2020 class of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Simmons was previously inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
On December 13, 2003, the Cardinals acquired Adam Wainwright, Ray King, and Jason Marquis from the Atlanta Braves for J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero. Wainwright was the centerpiece of the trade and has had a long and distinguished career as a Cardinal, which continues to the present day.
On December 14, 2007, the Cardinals traded outfielder Jim Edmonds to the San Diego Padres for third baseman David Freese. Freese went on spend five seasons in St. Louis and is of course best known as the hero of the 2011 World Series. Freese was the MVP of both the NLCS and the World Series. Edmonds had played for eight seasons with the Cardinals and won six Gold Glove awards in center field, but finished his illustrious career as a journeyman. Edmonds is currently a color analyst for Fox Sports Midwest and was inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014.
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