In anticipation of the 2015 Rule 5 draft, the St. Louis Cardinals added three minor leaguers to the 40-man roster before last Friday’s deadline. Pitcher Dean Kiekhefer, outfielder Charlie Tilson and infielder Aledmys Diaz were protected from selection in the Rule 5 draft.
The draft, which occurs on the last day of the Winter Meetings, allows a team to select players from the minor league rosters of the other 29 MLB teams to add to its major league active roster. The team selecting the player must keep that player on its active major league roster for the entire season; that player may not be optioned or designated to the minors.
If the team removes the player from the active roster before the end of the season, that team must return said player to his original team. Teams may place Rule 5 draftees on waivers, and if the player clears, the player must be offered back to his original team; if the player is claimed, the Rule 5 restrictions transfer to the claiming team. Rule 5 draftees may also be traded, and the Rule 5 restrictions transfer to the new team. There are Triple-A and Double-A phases of the draft which allow teams to select players for its minor league rosters with almost no restrictions.
Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk was named to the Topps 2015 MLB All-Star Rookie Team, an annual tradition since 1960. The team honors one player from each position, a RHP and LHP, a relief pitcher and a DH. Joining Grichuk in the outfield is Kyle Schwarber of the Cubs and Michael Conforto of the Mets.
A change occurred this past week to the Cardinals’ 2016 regular season schedule. The Cardinals’ Opening Day game, originally scheduled to be played on Monday, April 4, has been moved to Sunday, April 3 at 12:05 PM CDT in Pittsburgh. The move was made to accommodate ESPN, which has added the Cardinals/Pirates game to its Sunday schedule, along with the Blue Jays/Rays at 3:05 CDT, and Royals/Mets on the Sunday Night Baseball telecast at 7:35 CDT.
The annual BBWAA MLB awards were handed out this past week. They included the Rookie of the Year, the Cy Young Award, the Manager of the Year, and the Most Valuable Player. No Cardinals were selected for any of the awards. Manager Mike Matheny came in second for the Manager of the Year, behind winner Joe Maddon of the Cubs. St. Louis outfielder Stephen Piscotty was seventh in the Rookie of the Year voting, and Cardinals pitcher John Lackey finished ninth in the Cy Young voting, while Cardinals Matt Carpenter, Jason Heyward and Trevor Rosenthal each received votes for MVP.
The annual Esurance MLB Awards were handed out on Nov. 20. Grichuk, Yadier Molina, Carlos Martinez and Jaime Garcia were finalists for awards, as well as Matheny, GM John Mozeliak and Cardinals celebrity fan Karlie Kloss. None of the four Cardinals players nor Kloss won. The awards for Best Manager and Best Executive will be announced during the Winter Meetings, scheduled for Dec. 7-10.
The Cardinals announced their 2016 Spring Training Schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 17th. The schedule includes 28 games, 17 of which will be played in the Cardinals Spring Training facility, Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL. The first game will be played on March 3. The Cardinals will play 14 home games and 14 road games; three of the “road games” are games in which the Cardinals are the visiting team playing the Miami Marlins, who share Roger Dean Stadium with the Cardinals. Each of the 17 games at Roger Dean stadium will start at 12:05 CT. In addition to the 28 games, the Cardinals will play an exhibition game on March 2 against Florida Atlantic University at Roger Dean Stadium. Individual game tickets for Spring Training games at Roger Dean Stadium go on sale Jan. 16, 2016 at Roger Dean Stadium or online at cardinals.com or rogerdeanstadium.com. Full-season tickets are on sale now.
Some fans will have an additional option for viewing Cardinals games starting in 2016. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced this past week that a deal had been finalized with FOX Sports to offer online streaming of in-market MLB games for 15 markets in which FOX is the regional sports network. This deal includes Fox Sports Midwest, which broadcasts Cardinals games. Prior to this deal, fans within the FSMW television market could not view Cardinals games online legally due to blackout restrictions. Starting in 2016, the in-market games will be streamed on the FOX GO app, and will require authentication through a cable provider.
In news regarding former Cardinals, outfielder Shane Robinson has signed a minor league deal for 2016 with the Cleveland Indians. Ex-St. Louis minor league outfielder James Ramsey, traded to the Indians in 2014 for pitcher Justin Masterson, was added to the Indians’ 40-man roster. Former Cardinals reliever John Axford was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies.
Trade and Acquisition Rumors
In addition to the rumors detailed here last week, the Cardinals are reportedly interested in free agent first baseman Chris Davis, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi. Morosi reports that the Cardinals have had discussions with Davis’ agent, Scott Boras, though the extent of those discussions was not revealed.
Davis, who turns 30 in March 2016, slashed .262/.361/.562 with 47 HRs and 100 RBI in 670 PAs with the Baltimore Orioles in 2015. He was suspended for 50 games in September 2014 for testing positive for Adderall, an amphetamine used to treat ADHD. Davis had a past Therapeutic Use Exemption for Adderall prior to 2014, but failed to obtain the exemption in 2014.
The Cardinals selected the contracts of P Dean Kiekhefer, and IF Aledmys Diaz from the Memphis Redbirds. Cardinals selected the contract of OF Charlie Tilson from the Springfield Cardinals.
There is no injury news to report.
The Hot Stove season continues with nothing on the MLB schedule for the coming holiday week. The next scheduled event is the Winter Meetings, set to begin Monday, Dec. 7 in Nashville, TN. The Winter Meetings are a focal point of trades and free agent signings, and conclude with the Rule 5 draft on the final day.
The only other date of note ahead is Dec. 2, the deadline for tendering contracts to arbitration eligible players. The Cardinals have seven arbitration eligible players - Brandon Moss, Steve Cishek, Peter Bourjos, Tony Cruz, Trevor Rosenthal, Matt Adams and Seth Maness. Two of the seven, Cishek and Bourjos, are doubtful to be tendered contracts.
Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals AFL Prospect Interview: Dean Kiekhefer
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