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).

Mike Trout to undergo foot surgery

Mike Trout
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Angels star outfielder Mike Trout is done for the year, per a team press release. He’ll undergo surgery to remove the Morton’s neuroma in his right foot sometime over the next week, which will likely require a recovery period that stretches beyond the two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Trout, 28, has been day-to-day with a foot injury since the first week of September. On Monday, he underwent a cryoablation procedure to treat the neuroma on his right foot, but evidently requires further treatment to resolve the issue completely. Per manager Brad Ausmus, Trout ‘tested his foot by running’ on Sunday and found he was still experiencing too much pain to play, prompting his decision to undergo season-ending surgery.

This figures to be the first major setback Trout has seen since his thumb surgery in 2017, but there’s no reason to believe his current ailment will have any substantial effect on his 2020 season. Still, it’s an unfortunate end to another monster campaign by the eight-time All-Star and AL MVP contender, who will finish his 2019 season batting .291/.438/.645 with an AL-best 45 home runs, .1083 OPS, and league-leading 8.6 fWAR.