The day after the World Series' final out marks the official start of the Hot Stove season for baseball fans. That's when teams typically announce that they have exercised or declined options on players whose contracts have such a provision. It's also when veterans file for free agency. That's what happened Monday for several former (and perhaps some once and future?) St. Louis Cardinals.
As announced over the weekend, the Cardinals exercised the $11.5 million club option on Jaime Garcia, preventing the lefty from becoming a free agent. He maintains his spot on the 40-man and will receive a guaranteed $11.5 million salary for the 2016 season.
The following players officially became free agents:
- Mark Reynolds
- Carlos Villanueva
- Randy Choate
- Matt Belisle
- John Lackey
- Jason Heyward
- Jonathan Broxton
- The player's interest in playing for the club
- The club's interest in having the player play for it
- The club's plans about how it intends to utilize the player's services (e.g., as a starter or reliever, as a designated hitter or not, platooning, etc.)
- The advantages and disadvantages of playing for the club, including the nature of the organization, the climate of the city, availability of suitable housing, etc.
- Length of contract
- Guarantee provisions
- No-trade or limited no-trade provisions
- Pete Kozma
- Ed Easley
- Travis Tartamella