ST. LOUIS, MO- How will you remember the Greg Holland era? The pitcher who led the league in saves last year for Colorado was not the same man in St. Louis this spring, and his time with the club ended Friday when he and lefty reliever Tyler Lyons were designated for assignment, giving the Cardinals 10 days to release or trade the pair. Sam Tuivailala was traded to Seattle. Up come Luke Weaver, Dakota Hudson, Tyler Webb and Daniel Poncedeleon.
Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said before Friday night’s game that the roster churn is not finished, not with next week’s deadline to complete trades without clearing waivers.
“Today was not a finality by any means,” he told reporters. “Between now and Tuesday at 3 in the afternoon, I think we’re going to exhaust as many things as possible.”
Good. Here are a few candidates to be elsewhere by Tuesday night.
Bud Norris: The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham Tweeted that the Red Sox have had scouts looking at Cardinal relievers, including Norris and the now-traded Tuivailala. Norris is a free agent after the season and has gone public with his interest in returning to St. Louis next year, so it would appear to be a win-win to send him to a contender now and look at bringing him back over the winter.
Jose Martinez: It’s been well-documented this season that Martinez cannot find a home in the field, despite his ability to rake at the plate. It’s easy to say fine, send him to the American League where he can DH, but harder still to find the right fit. The Yankees now stick out as a destination, thanks to the hand injury which will keep Aaron Judge out of the lineup for at least 3 weeks. Martinez is under team control through 2022 so he can yield something back in return greater than that of a few month rental. Despite his age (30), he could be of interest to an AL team in a rebuild, like Tampa or Minnesota. This space has previously talked about why a trade for Rays pitcher Chris Archer makes sense. Derrick Goold at the Post-Dispatch reinforced that this week as well. If that kind of deal materializes, then don’t be surprised if a young starter is included in the deal.
Tommy Pham: In a perfect world, the Cardinals find a taker who believes Dexter Fowler’s recent encouraging play is a sign he has plenty left in the tank, that his postseason experience with Cubs could count for something down the stretch. Even if St. Louis picks up a substantial amount of money, we’re probably not living in that world. Just like last winter, the Cardinals look to have a bunch of outfielders clogged at the AAA-Major League level. They gave up four prospects for Ozuna. They owe Fowler a ton of money. Tyler O’Neill has proven he doesn’t belong in Memphis anymore. Bader is already a top defender here. Adolis Garcia is knocking at the door from Memphis and he’s not on the 40 man roster. Will Yairo Munoz see more time in the outfield moving forward? Something has to give, and it seems like Pham would be the candidate to move.
Jedd Gyorko: Goold reports that the infielder has been battling symptoms consistent with post-concussion syndrome. I share the curiosity in observing that, despite those concerns, Gyorko was not put on the disabled list Friday along with the flurry of other moves. If healthy, he would be an attractive piece for a contender looking for a plug in player, like Boston, and is under contract until 2020.