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Updated 2021 Cardinal Roster Analysis

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

If you blinked just a little bit over the past two or so months, you might have missed that the Cardinal roster looks much different than it did at the start of the season. Here is an updated 40-man roster. As always, for pitchers, I include the handedness in parentheses. Also included in parentheses for all players is a number, which represents the number of minor league options the player has remaining, including this season. If there is no number, that means the player is out of options. If “N/A” is in parentheses, that means the player is technically not out of options, but he has 5 or more years of MLB service time and may not be sent to the minor leagues without his consent. Also, at the end, I’ll provide some additional notes that may be interesting if you’re looking towards the off-season.



Genesis Cabrera (L, 2), Seth Elledge (R, 3), Junior Fernandez (R, 2), Giovanny Gallegos (R, 1), Luis Garcia (R), J.A. Happ (L, N/A), Ryan Helsley (R, 2), Kwang Hyun Kim (L, N/A), Wade LeBlanc (L), Jon Lester (L, N/A), T.J. McFarland (L), Andrew Miller (L), Justin Miller (R), Johan Oviedo (R, 3), Daniel Ponce de Leon (R), Johan Quezada (R, 3), Alex Reyes (R, 2), Angel Rongon (R, 3), Adam Wainwright (R, N/A), Kodi Whitley (R, 3), Jake Woodford (R, 3), T.J. Zeuch (R, 2)


Ivan Herrera (3), Andrew Knizner (1), Ali Sanchez (2), Yadier Molina (N/A)


Nolan Arenado (N/A), Matt Carpenter (N/A), Paul DeJong (3), Tommy Edman (3), Paul Goldschmidt (N/A), Jose Rondon, Edmundo Sosa


Harrison Bader (1), Dylan Carlson (3), Austin Dean (2), Scott Hurst (3), Lars Nootbaar (3), Tyler O’Neill (1), Justin Williams (1)

60-DAY IL (6)

Jack Flaherty (R, 2), Jordan Hicks (R, 3), Dakota Hudson (R, 3), Carlos Martinez (R, N/A), Miles Mikolas (R), Max Moroff


Brandon Waddell (L, 2)


*Kwang Hyun Kim has N/A in parentheses because the contract he signed prevented him from being sent to the minor leagues without his consent.

*Justin Williams’s one option is his fourth minor league option.

*The following players have burned this year’s minor league option, although they can still be sent back and forth from the minors this season: Elledge, Fernandez, Oviedo, Quezada, Angel Rondon, Whitley, Woodford, Zeuch, Herrera, Sanchez, Dean, Hurst and Williams.

*Lars Nootbaar has already spent 17 days on option this season and if he spends 3 more days on option before the end of the 2021 season, one of his options will be burned.

*If Nootbaar’s option is burned in 2021, he will join Angel Rondon and Ivan Herrera in being eligible for a fourth minor league option in 2024 if their second and third options are burned in 2022 and 2023.

*Johan Quezada is a special case. Like Nootbaar, Rondon and Herrera, 2019 is his only prior qualified season for purposes of the fourth minor league option rule. The 2021 season should not count for him either. He was placed on the AAA Memphis 7-day IL on the opening day of the AAA season on May 4th, and wasn’t activated until July 3rd. There is not 90 days between his activation date and the end of the season, and none of his injured list time will count because it was not preceded by his spending at least 30 days on an active list. Thus, Quezada could be eligible for a fourth minor league option in 2024 if options are burned for him in 2022 and 2023, but only in 2024. But if one of those options is not burned in either 2022 or 2023 and his third option is burned in 2024, he would still be eligible for a fourth minor league option in 2025.



3B Nolan Arenado, $35 million, $6 million of the salary is deferred, and the Rockies are paying $5,570,500. He is signed through 2027, with possible opt-outs after both this season and the 2022 season.

SS Paul DeJong, $6 million, signed through 2024 with club options for 2024 and 2025

1B Paul Goldschmidt, $22 million, signed through 2024.

RHP Miles Mikolas, $15.75 million, signed through 2023.


IF Matt Carpenter (2022 option for $18.5 million, $2 million buyout—his option will not automatically vest, because he will not get at least 550 PA this season).

RHP Luis Garcia (if he has at least 78 days on a MLB active roster or injured list this season)

LHP J.A. Happ

LHP Kwang Hyun Kim

LHP Wade LeBlanc

LHP Jon Lester—he supposedly has a mutual option for 2022, but no one seems to know either how much the option is for or what it would cost to buy it out.

RHP Carlos Martinez (2022 club option for , $500,000 buyout)

LHP T.J. McFarland

LHP Andrew Miller

C Yadier Molina

RHP Adam Wainwright


CF Harrison Bader

RHP Jack Flaherty

RHP Giovanny Gallegos

RHP Jordan Hicks

RHP Dakota Hudson

RHP Justin Miller

LF Tyler O’Neill

RHP Alex Reyes

*If the rules stay the same as they are, Tommy Edman will have an outside shot at being a Super Two and also eligible for arbitration at 2 years and 114 days of major league service. Usually it takes more days than that to be eligible, but the Super Two cutoff was only 2 years and 115 days as recently as the off-season following the 2019 regular season.