The Cardinals announced on Wednesday that they’ve promoted director of international operations Moises Rodriguez to the position of assistant general manager. Rodriguez has spent 10 years working in the Cardinals’ front office, and the team notes within its press release that he was “instrumental” in signing and developing prospects such as Carlos Martinez, Alex Reyes, Magneuris Sierra and the late Oscar Taveras. Born in Puerto Rico, Rodriguez explained in discussing his new title (video link via the Cardinals, on Twitter) that he grew up in New York City cheering for the Cardinals while largely surrounded by Mets fans. Newly promoted GM Michael Girsch says that Rodriguez has done “an amazing job” building out the team’s international department, adding that Rodriguez’s views at times differ from his own, which is “ideal” and “makes everyone better.” The Cardinals did not name a new director of international operations and expect to do so “early this offseason,” per their release.
More from the NL Central…
- While many (myself included) have assumed that Reds closer Raisel Iglesias will opt into arbitration this offseason, as is his contractual right under the terms of his seven-year $27MM contract, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer explains that the scenario isn’t as likely as it seems. Iglesias’ deal with the Reds allows him to opt into arbitration in any offseason in which he is eligible, meaning he’ll have the opportunity to opt into arbitration next winter even if he forgoes that opportunity this winter. Under the current terms of his deal, Iglesias is guaranteed $4.5MM in 2018, Buchanan notes. While he could potentially make a bit more than that as a first-time arb player on the heels of a strong season as a closer, he’d be forfeiting the remaining $10MM on his contract to do so. By waiting until next offseason, he’d sacrifice only minimal earning power and protect himself against an injury or unexpected decline in 2018.
- Right-hander Trevor Williams has somewhat quietly made a strong case for a spot in the Pirates’ 2018 rotation, writes MLB.com’s Adam Berry. The Bucs are banking on Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon and Ivan Nova to hold down the top three spots in the rotation, and Williams’ quality run over his past 24 outings has perhaps earned him the next spot in the starting five. In that time, he’s worked to a 3.65 ERA with 7.0 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 and a 49.9 percent ground-ball rate. He’s averaged 5 2/3 innings per start in that time, so the Pirates would probably prefer to see him work deeper into games with greater frequency, but Williams certainly looks like a viable rotation piece moving forward.
- Brewers left-handed pitching prospect Nathan Kirby, who hasn’t pitched in two years due to a pair of elbow surgeries, is back on the mound in the team’s instructional league, tweets Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The former University of Virginia ace was at one point a projected top five pick in the 2015 draft but slipped to the Brewers at No. 40 overall that year due to injury concerns. Tommy John surgery cost Kirby the 2016 season, and he had a second elbow procedure earlier this year. While it’s hardly the start to his pro career that Kirby had envisioned, he’s not yet 24 years of age, so there’s certainly time for him to get back on track.