Cards Trim Three More from 40-Man Roster

The impact of the release of Brad Thompson and outrighting of Matt Scherer and Joe Thurston is considered.

In addition to second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir having been claimed off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays, the St. Louis Cardinals cleared three other 40-man roster spots by releasing pitcher Brad Thompson and outrighting pitcher Matt Scherer and infielder Joe Thurston to the minor leagues.

Thompson, 26, was selected in the 16th round of the 2002 draft and spent a majority of the last five seasons in the major leagues. Other than Kyle McClellan (25th round), no other pick from that draft reached St. Louis.

In 185 career games, including 32 starts, the right-handed Thompson posted a 4.36 ERA. In 385 2/3 innings, he struck out 180 and walked 117. However, Brad's worst two seasons were the most recent, 5.15 in 2008 and 4.84 this past year. The Las Vegas native was left off the 2009 Cardinals NLDS roster though he had appeared in the 2006 post-season.

Thurston has been previously outrighted, so has the option to declare free agency. The 30-year-old spent the entire season at the major league level, batting just .225 in 307 at-bats. Defensively, the left-handed hitter played at third base, second base and left field. Thurston also had one at-bat in the NLDS.

Scherer remains under Cardinals organizational control – at least until December's Rule 5 draft. The right-hander will be eligible to potentially be selected by another organization as happened to reliever Luis Perdomo last winter. In November 2008, the 26-year-old had been added to the 40-man instead of Perdomo in what seemed an odd move at the time. Scherer has not played in the major leagues.

These actions lower the current 40-man roster to 35, but that may not be enough to get through this winter's moves. The club also has nine free agent-eligibles, including Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa and Joel Pineiro, and at least some of them need to be replaced.

In addition, the Cardinals have a large number of prospects which must either be added to the 40-man or be exposed to December's Rule 5 draft. This includes players like Daryl Jones, Bryan Anderson, Mike Parisi, Jon Jay, Adam Ottavino, Allen Craig, Mark Hamilton, Francisco Samuel and others.

Expect some combination of those moves to occur sometime in the next two weeks.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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