David Freese is slated to get an anti-inflammatory injection for his injured back today and time is running out for the Cardinals third baseman to be ready for the season, although general manager John Mozeliak told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that “Opening Day has not been ruled out.”
That quote from Mozeliak came after the Cardinals got the results of an MRI exam on Freese, but players typically remain on the sidelines for at least a couple days following injections and there are only four games remaining on the spring training schedule.
St. Louis’ depth will be tested early on because the Cardinals are suddenly very banged up.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. The Phillies are creating space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline on Tuesday.
Bour, 30, opened the season with the Marlins but was traded to the Phillies in August in exchange for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Overall, Bour hit .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances.
Bour doesn’t really have a spot on the Phillies’ roster considering he is strictly a first baseman and the Phillies already have Carlos Santana. The Phillies may try to trade Santana to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base from left field.
If Bour clears waivers, he can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues and become a free agent. However, considering how slow-moving the market for bat-only 1B/DH types has been in recent years, Bour may have trouble latching on with a new team on a guaranteed major league contract. If Bour is claimed, the claiming team will be responsible for paying him as he enters his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bour to earn a salary of $5.2 million in 2019.