Cards make last roster move before Rule 5 Draft

During the press conference for Mike Matheny’s extension, John Mozeliak informed us that Oscar Taveras, Mike O’Neill, and Greg Garcia had been added to the 40 man roster. They also removed John Gast and Jermaine Curtis, while Ryan Jackson was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros. The moves mean that there are still 36 players on the 40 man roster, leaving room for a draft acquisition, a trade, or free agent signings.

Oscar Taveras, 21, is widely viewed as the best hitting prospect in baseball. He spent most of last season fighting a nagging ankle injury. He is expected by many to contend for a spot on the Opening Day roster for the Cardinals, if not start in center field this coming season. He hit .306/.341/.462 with 5 HR over 46 games for Triple-A Memphis last season.

Mike O’Neill, 25, was a name that I hadn’t heard before. He was a 31st round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2010. O’Neill has hit at every level of the minors and split last season between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. He posted a .314/.424/.369 slash line with 2 HR in 130 games.

Greg Garcia, 24, has been Kolten Wong’s double play buddy since college, as they both went to the University of Hawai’i. A long shot to stick at shortstop, it’s been said of Garcia that he probably would have moved to second base on every team he’s been on if not for Wong. Garcia struggled a bit with the jump to Triple-A, but still posted a solid season with a .271/.377/.384 line with 3 HR in 116 games. [click to continue…]

Final roster moves before the Rule 5 Draft

Cardinals announce the addition of OF Oscar Taveras, IF Mike O’Neill, and IF Greg Garcia to the 40-man roster. LHP John Gast and IF Jermaine Curtis removed from 40-man roster. IF Ryan Jackson has been claimed by the Houston Astros.

Chris Carpenter officially retires

John Mozeliak announces that Chris Carpenter has officially retired from baseball.

Matheny signs contract extension

Mike Matheny signed to a three year extension. Will be the Cardinals managed through the 2017 season.

Being the GM

Each and every off season I like to ask myself what I would do if I were the GM of the St. Louis Cardinals.  I look at what I perceive to be the team’s weaknesses and find ways to go about reinforcing those weaknesses.

Going into this offseason, I see two main priorities for the Cardinals as they attempt to return to the World Series for the third time in four years. First, find a starting shortstop. Second, remodel the bench.

FIND A STARTING SHORTSTOP

I know it’s joked that I must be Clint Barmes’ agent, because nobody has ever campaigned harder for their team to acquire him than me. I’ve banged his drum the last couple times he’s been a free agent as I looked for ways for us to improve at shortstop. Coming off a rough year with the Pirates, Barmes still was impressive defensively at shortstop, which is enough for me. [click to continue…]