After weeks of speculation about what the St. Louis Cardinals would do with top prospect Masyn Winn, the club announced they were calling up the shortstop in time to make his Major League debut on August 18th against the New York Mets at Busch Stadium.
So why now? What does Winn's promotion mean for him and the Cardinals the rest of the season? How could making his MLB debut now potentially impact the offseason and the 2024 Cardinals?
Let's explore everything to watch for with Masyn Winn's call up
Why was Masyn Winn called up now and not earlier?
Let's get this out of the way - even after the Cardinals traded away Paul DeJong and had a clear opening for Winn in St. Louis, they waited multiple weeks to pull the trigger on the move. But why?
According to the new MLB CBA, teams are now incentivized to have their top prospects on their Opening Day roster. If a prospect is on the club's Opening Day roster and is on the major top-100 prospect lists, then they can earn their team a draft selection if they finish in the top-2 in Rookie of the Year voting. The player also is awarded a full year of service time and a bonus for their accomplishments.
The lesser-known rule is that in order for Winn to maintain his rookie eligibility status for 2024, he must be on the MLB roster for 45 days or less and accumulate 130 at-bats or less during the course of the season. August 18th marks exactly 45 days until the end of the season, so this was the earliest St. Louis could call him up to maintain this eligibility (which is in both Winn's and the club's best interest).
Something to watch for is that 130 at-bats number. With 45 days left in the season, it would be easy for Winn to accumulate more plate appearances than that, which would totally defeat the purpose of waiting this long to call him up. Since they made the decision to do that, they might as well follow through on that plan. Winn may sit a few more games than you'd expect because of this.