The Cardinals announced they’ve released catcher Tyler Heineman from the minor league deal he signed over the winter. (St. Louis also confirmed their previously-reported agreement with left-hander T.J. McFarland). Heineman’s contract allowed him to elect free agency if a major league opportunity opened up elsewhere, notes Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat (Twitter link). It’s not yet clear if that was the impetus for his release.
Heineman only picked up 77 plate appearances with Triple-A Memphis this season, hitting .254/.325/.313 without any home runs. The 30-year-old has typically been more productive at the minors’ highest level, evidenced by his career .284/.351/.422 line over parts of six Triple-A seasons.
That generally solid minor league work has earned Heineman brief looks in the big leagues in each of the past two years. He suited up for the 2019 Marlins and 2020 Giants, totaling 62 plate appearances.