The moves were not unexpected. Johnson was arbitration eligible as a third catcher, Chambers was out of minor league options and Peterson, while successful at Triple-A, did not impress in several trials with the big league club.
All were with St. Louis in September, but none of the three were active for the World Series. Chambers, the only home-grown player of the three, was active for the first two rounds of the post-season, replaced by Allen Craig against Boston.
Johnson, 31, spent most of the season with Memphis, but was added to the 40-man and brought to St. Louis when Yadier Molina's knee began acting up. The Major League veteran of 829 plate appearances with four clubs has a career line of just .200/.275/.295/.570. For September, the Cards added prospect catcher Audry Perez to the 40-man and called him up.
In 2013, Chambers had a Memphis line of .252/.338/.387/.725 with eight home runs and 16 stolen bases. The left-handed batter also made 29 plate appearances in his third fractional season with St. Louis. With the 27-year-old having no minor league options remaining, however, and no clear spot in St. Louis, the handwriting was on the wall for the organization's 38th round pick in the 2007 draft. Last month, the Cardinals claimed another veteran Triple-A outfielder off waivers from Texas, Joey Butler.
Peterson, 29, was the feel-good story of 2013 by making his Major League debut after toiling in the minors and independent ball for over 11 years. The right-handed hitter collected just two hits in 26 at-bats with St. Louis but was a key cog in the Memphis offense. His line there was .296/.364/.531/.895 with 25 home runs in 508 plate appearances. Peterson was a mid- and post-season Pacific Coast League All-Star.
As there is no 60-day disabled list during the off-season, all injured players count against the 40-man limit.
After all the moves, the Cardinals currently have 36 players on their roster.
Update: As first disclosed to The Cardinal Nation subscribers back on September 13, the St. Louis Cardinals system had 10 minor leaguers eligible for free agency following the World Series. None of them were re-signed by the organization, so all now join the others noted above on the open market.
Here are the 10. Three have prior MLB experience.
|Nick Additon||LHS||Memphis||47th round, 2006|
|Richard Castillo||RHS||Memphis||Int'l free agent, 12/07|
|Justin Christian||OF||Memphis||Free agent, 11/12||yes|
|Ramon Delgado||RHR||Memphis||41st round, 2007|
|Ruben Gotay||3B||Springfield||Free agent, 3/13||yes|
|Deryk Hooker||RHR||Memphis||7th round, 2007|
|Chad Huffman||OF||Memphis||Free agent, 2/13||yes|
|Jamie Romak||OF||Memphis||Free agent, 11/12|
|Zack Russell||RHR||Springfield||49th round, 2007|
|Jay Voss||LHR||Peoria||Rule 5 (AAA), 12/12|
There's more! To see the 40-man roster along with every player in the entire Cardinals system, currently at 265 players, by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, free and kept up-to-date year-round at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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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. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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