Cardinals expected to lose all five free-agents-to-be

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The Cardinals aren’t expected to retain any of the five players eligible to head into free agency, MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch writes. Only three of those players — Pat Neshek, A.J. Pierzynski, and Mark Ellis — were on the post-season roster. The other two are Jason Motte and Justin Masterson.

Their leaving won’t create a black hole in the Cardinals’ roster, however. Neshek was the most productive of the five, and relievers are quite fungible on a year-to-year basis. Replacing a back-up catcher, back-up infielder, injury-prone pitcher, and an inconsistent starter won’t be difficult. The Cardinals instead have a lot of their key players either already under contract or are otherwise under team control (arbitration-eligible or pre-arbitration).