Cardinals reduce roster by five players, allow two veteran pitchers to become free agents

As the October preparations continue ahead of November’s shopping, the Cardinals removed five players from their 40-man roster and allowed two veteran pitchers to become free agents.

Casey Lawrence, the seasoned reliever who played a crucial role in the Cardinals’ September performances, and Andrew Suarez were removed from the 40-man roster. Due to their service time in professional baseball, they both had the option to choose free agency instead of remaining in the Cardinals organization on a minor league roster.

The Cardinals also outrighted pitcher Kyle Leahy and infielders Irving Lopez and Juniel Querecuto from the 40-man roster.

These players have been assigned to the Class AAA Memphis roster.

With these moves, the Cardinals’ roster now stands at 35 players.

Some of the available spots will be used to protect eligible prospects, ensuring they are not selected by other teams in December’s Rule 5 Draft.

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The free-agent market opens five days after the end of the World Series, allowing bidding to commence on all players by November 10 at the latest. The available spots on the Cardinals’ roster provide them with flexibility to make additions without further moves.

These moves were made on the day following starting pitcher Adam Wainwright’s official retirement announcement and the Cardinals’ addition of infielder Buddy Kennedy from the Oakland Athletics via waivers.

Lawrence had a 1-0 record with a 6.59 ERA in 27⅓ innings of relief across 15 games for the Cardinals. Suarez had a 7.16 ERA in 27⅔ innings spread over 13 games this past season. Leahy only pitched 1⅔ innings in three appearances, and his ERA was affected by these limited outings.

Lopez was added to the team late in the season to reward his years in the minors and take advantage of his versatility. However, he had limited at-bats and went hitless in 11. Querecuto had a .100 batting average with a .293 OPS in nine major league games. Both players spent most of the season as regulars for Triple-A Memphis.

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