On Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals claimed right-handed reliever Jess Todd off waivers from the New York Yankees. The transaction was first reported by the New York Daily News via Twitter.
The 25-year-old had been a member of the Yankees organization since May 6 – only ten days. New York had designated Todd for assignment on Thursday, May 12. He had previously been DFAed by the Cleveland Indians on April 30 and claimed off waivers by the Yankees one week later.
Todd made his MLB debut with St. Louis on June 5, 2009, appearing in just one game, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings, before being returned to Memphis, where he earned 24 saves. On June 27, the Mark DeRosa trade with Cleveland was announced with Chris Perez and a player to be named later going to the Indians. On July 26, that PTBNL was identified as Todd.
Todd appeared in 24 games for the Tribe in 2009 and 2010, posting a 7.62 ERA. He struck out 29 in 28 1/3 innings but also issued 12 walks. Todd did not appear in the majors this season.
In Triple-A for Cleveland, Todd posted a 3.31 ERA in 44 games with Columbus last season, but struggled in 2011. In ten games, his ERA was 10.97. After joining the Yankees' International League team in Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Todd had the same result over two games as his original St. Louis debut – two earned runs in 1 2/3 frames.
Todd has been optioned to Memphis where he will join a bullpen that has been hit hard by injuries (Adam Reifer, Rich Rundles and Francisco Samuel) and promotions (Fernando Salas and Eduardo Sanchez). The Redbirds' current closer is 30-year-old Victor Marte, recently acquired from Kansas City.
The Cardinals have moved right-handed reliever Bryan Augenstein from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list to accommodate the addition of Todd to their 40-man roster. Augenstein would be eligible to return to St. Louis on June 12 but could begin a minor league rehab stint as soon as he is recovered from his groin strain.
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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