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Cardinals news and notes: Maness and Garcia depart

The departure of Seth Maness to go with Thursday’s Jaime Garcia trade changes the dynamics of Cardinals pitching going forward.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at St. Louis Cardinals Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday afternoon, in a fairly unsurprising move, the Cardinals announced that reliever Seth Maness would not be tendered a contract for next season, making Maness a free agent.

Over the last four seasons, Seth Maness appeared in 244 games, second in that time only to Trevor Rosenthal. After being worth 1.6 Baseball Reference Wins Above Replacement during his 2013 rookie season, with a 2.32 ERA and 3.44 fielding-independent pitching in 62 innings, he posted yet another sub-3 ERA in 2014.

However, Maness struggled in 2015, as his FIP-beating ways came back to Earth—in 76 games, Seth Maness had a 4.26 ERA. He was better on a rate basis in 2016, with a 3.41 ERA, but a UCL injury held him to only 31 23 innings. Although Maness was able to avoid Tommy John surgery, as was initially expected, concerns about his future, combined with declining results in the last two seasons, led to Friday’s decision.

This latest roster move means the Cardinals only have 39 players on their 40-man roster, which leaves room for further moves during next week’s Winter Meetings. While Maness had an early reputation for inducing double plays (which was somewhat based on luck, but he also has a 59.4% ground ball rate for his career) and he has shown above-average control in his career, his pedestrian strikeout rate (5.76 K/9 for his career, and just 4.55 K/9 in 2016) was inevitably going to excite less than the marquee free agent acquisitions for which this could open the door.

It was the departure of another Cardinals veteran pitcher, Jaime Garcia, which dominated VEB coverage on Friday. Here’s some of that.

Jaime Garcia in a historic context:

I wrote about Jaime Garcia and his place in Cardinals history, not as a first-tier legend but as a strong performer for some exciting Cardinals teams.

Memories of Jaime

Lil Scooter asked the VEB community for their favorite memories of Jaime Garcia, and the community provided them. Oh, and also she put some more words in the post as well, so it wasn’t straight plagiarism.

Facebook Live

Craig Edwards fielded questions and discussed Jaime Garcia and many, many other things on the latest edition of VEB Facebook Live. Come for the baseball discussion; stay for Craig’s mesmerizing Wayne Coyne vibes.