The St. Louis Cardinals designated outfielder Moises Gomez for assignment on Monday afternoon. In exchange, 1B/OF Alfonso Rivas was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels. Gomez's removal from the 40-man roster opens up a spot for another acquisition this offseason.
Gomez had a great minor league season in 2022, mashing thirty-nine home runs with a .624 slugging percentage. While Gomez has always struggled with strikeouts (34.7% rate in 2022), his power was more than enough to make up for those walk tendencies. Gomez's defense was nothing stellar, but he was capable of playing the corner outfield.
St. Louis missed its chance to sell high on Gomez last offseason. His trade value was at its highest at that point, and there were plenty of teams would could sacrifice some defense and strikeouts for a huge power bat. Gomez's age, twenty-five, places him on the upper end of prospect ages. He still hit thirty home runs last year, but his K rate did drop to 31.7%, one of the lowest of his career.
There were plenty of other 40-man players who could have been DFA'd by the Cardinals to clear space, but the Cardinals were presumably finished seeing high strikeout rates combined with low walk rates from Gomez. There is a chance Gomez is still traded, as his designation could increase interest from other teams, particularly those not at the top of the waiver order. St. Louis has one week to trade Gomez or place him on waivers.
Reciprocally, St. Louis picked up Alfonso Rivas on waivers from the Angels. Rivas, twenty-six, has played for the Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Los Angeles Angels. He has a career .243/.324/.349 slash line for an 87 OPS+. Rivas tapped into some power last year, but his numbers aren't overly impressive.
Rivas joins Alex Burleson, Matt Carpenter, Luken Baker, Jared Young, and Chandler Redmond as players who can capably play first base in the system. Hopefully, the Cardinals find a suitable trade partner for Moises Gomez, but his value is essentially null after his string of high strikeouts and low walk rates.