The Cardinals announced the signing of left-hander Wade LeBlanc. The deal is apparently a Major League contract, as LeBlanc will move directly onto the Cards’ active roster. In corresponding moves, right-hander Seth Elledge was optioned to Triple-A, and infielder Max Moroff was moved from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day IL.
LeBlanc is now lined up to pitch for the ninth different team of his 13-season MLB career. LeBlanc was also briefly a member of the Brewers and Rangers organizations within the last two months, signing minor league contracts with both clubs but not receiving a promotion to the majors.
This transactional carousel began after the Orioles outrighted LeBlanc in April, and the veteran southpaw decided to become a free agent. The move ended a tough two-year stint for LeBlanc in Baltimore that saw him post an 8.38 ERA over 29 innings, with LeBlanc starting seven of his 12 total appearances in the black-and-orange.
St. Louis manager Mike Shildt told reporters (including Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat and The Athletic’s Katie Woo) that the Cardinals will mostly use LeBlanc as a relief pitcher. While LeBlanc’s recent results don’t exactly indicate a quick fix for a struggling Cards bullpen, he can at least provide the team with some depth as a long man, and perhaps even as a spot starter in the event of more injuries within the rotation. LeBlanc’s splits against left-handed batters have still been generally good, so a more situational usage — within the boundaries of the three-batter rule — might be the more optimal way to deploy the southpaw at this stage of his career.
“He’s got versatility. He’s not overly splitty, throws strikes to both righties and lefties. But he’s built up, he’s got some length,” Shildt said.