The St. Louis Cardinals designated Moises Gomez for assignment on Monday, essentially cutting ties with a player they should have gotten more from. The Cardinals completed the release to make room for Alfonso Rivas, who they claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels.
By releasing Gomez, the Cardinals do have the opportunity to trade him. If they cannot trade him, they can re-sign him but leave him off the 40-man roster.
Rivas plays first base and is an outfielder. The Cardinals are his fifth team to join since August. That's interesting, and considering the positions Rivas plays, he was a head-scratcher pick. Who knows what the end game will be with this waiver pickup...
While pondering the decision to get Rivas, let's discuss some players who don't deserve to be on the Cardinals' 40-man roster and why!
Jose Fermin doesn't deserve to be on the Cardinals' 40-man roster
With so many injuries last season, Fermin was helpful in the later weeks of the season. The team desperately needed middle infield help, and he was able to provide it. With Brendan Donovan, Nolan Gorman, Tommy Edman, and Masyn Winn all healthy and other backups available with better hitting abilities, having Fermin on the 40-man roster is optional.
Sure, he's a decent backup to have in a pinch. But he slashed .235/.339/.225 with an OPS of .594 over 21 games. He had one double and four RBIs. He walked six times but struck out eight times. That could be better, especially when better options are available with the start of a new season.
Buddy Kennedy doesn't deserve to be on the Cardinals' 40-man roster
Another middle infielder with experience playing third base. Buddy Kennedy brings more depth to the infield for the Cardinals organization.
Unless he has an outstanding Spring Training for the Cardinals, he should not remain on the Cardinals' 40-man roster as he could prevent a more deserving youngster from starting the season on the roster.
He played ten games for the Diamondbacks last summer. He slashed .167/.310/.208 with an OPS of .519. It could be better, but hopefully, he'll be in an environment where he can thrive with the Cardinal's minor leaguers.
Pedro Pagés doesn't deserve to be on the Cardinals' 40-man roster
It seemed odd to have four catchers on the 40-man roster when Andrew Knizner was still with the Cardinals. After he was granted free agency, it remains odd that three catchers stay on the 40-man roster.
Pagés must also have an outstanding Spring to remain on the 40-man roster. Jimmy Crooks and Aaron Antonini appear to be more skilled catchers. Victor Scott II and Thomas Saggese are players on the cusp of breaking out and could need the slot Pages occupies.
Alec Burleson doesn't deserve to be on the Cardinals' 40-man roster
Burleson seems far too talented to be regulated to the Cardinals bench, but the Cardinals also have too many talented players for him to remain on the roster. Burleson is the ideal candidate to trade for pitching.
Last season, Burleson hit .244/.300/.390 with a .691 OPS. The left-handed hitter knocked eight home runs, 20 doubles, and 36 RBIs. He's far too productive to be on the Cardinals bench, but Lars Nootbaar is so talented you must play him in left field.
It will be interesting to see if Burleson is moved before Spring Training or if he's a breakout candidate for Spring training, and then the team is forced to keep him.
Matt Carpenter doesn't deserve to be on the Cardinals' 40-man roster
It's still shocking to see that Carpenter is on this team. The team needed some extra veteran leadership, and John Mozeliak tapped the services of the oft-struggling but beloved former Cardinal.
It will be interesting to see how he does in the Spring and early part of the season. If he performs well, he will likely be a steady bench option for the team. But if he starts to struggle and remains on the team as a player breaking out, it will be interesting to see Mozeliak's response.
Will Mozeliak keep him with the Cardinals as a helper and veteran presence? If he remains with the team as a helpful piece and prevents a potential star from moving up to St. Louis, that could be detrimental to the team. Here's hoping that Mozeliak and the team will not allow things to get to this point.