Cardinals keep Jaime Garcia for 2016, decline Jonathan Broxton’s option

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St. Louis has exercised its $11.5 milliion option on Jaime Garcia to keep the left-hander around for 2016, but has declined its $9 million option on right-hander Jonathan Broxton to make him a free agent.

Garcia had a rough playoff start, but was fantastic in 20 regular season outings after coming back form his latest arm problems. He’s always a major health question mark, but Garcia has a 3.31 ERA in 724 career innings through age 28 and will be a big part of the Cardinals’ rotation.

Broxton was acquired from the Brewers on July 31 and did a solid job for the Cardinals in a setup role with a 2.66 ERA and 26/12 K/BB ratio in 24 innings, but as a good but not great reliever he’d have been overpriced at $9 million. Instead he gets a $2 million buyout–some of which is covered by the Brewers as part of the trade–and hits the open market at age 32.

A.J. Hinch: “If it was any other time of the year, [José Altuve] wouldn’t be in the lineup.”

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It has been evident throughout the playoffs that Astros second baseman José Altuve’s right knee is bothering him. Altuve battled a right knee issue in July, then banged it up again in Game 2 of the ALDS and it’s been a problem ever since.

Manager A.J. Hinch said that if it were the regular season, he wouldn’t put Altuve in the lineup. Per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the full quote:

He’s hurt. And if it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be in the lineup or wouldn’t be playing. He’d probably be on the DL. … But he’s showing up every day in good spirits, ready to go, giving 100 percent of what he’s got. He should be commended.

Hinch also said of Altuve, “His teammates revere him. The production that he’s doing on one leg is pretty incredible. And he’s trying not to talk about it. And therefore I am.”

During the ALCS, Altuve has hit .250/.368/.313 in 16 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit but he has racked up three singles and drawn three walks while scoring four runs. Hinch has had Marwin González start at second base Games 3 and 4 and is doing so again on Thursday night in Game 5.