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).

Angels claim pitcher Jacob Rhame off waivers from Mets

Jacob Rhame waivers
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The Angels announced on Wednesday that the club claimed reliever Jacob Rhame off waivers from the Mets.

Rhame, 27, was limited to 6 1/3 innings in the majors and 20 2/3 innings in the minors last season due to an elbow issue. He underwent ulnar nerve transposition surgery in mid-August.

Though Rhame has a career 6.23 ERA in the big leagues, he showed promise at Triple-A from 2016-18, averaging better than 10 strikeouts per nine innings in all three years. The Angels are taking a flier on the right-hander to see if he can translate that success to the majors.