Robertson, 28, began 2022 as a Cardinal but ended up bouncing around a bit. He went to Atlanta and then to the Mets before returning to the Cards on a series of waiver claims. It seems that he passed through waivers unclaimed this time around and will stick around the organization as depth.
Despite all that bouncing around, he only got into two major league games this year, spending most of the year on various minor league clubs. In 116 Triple-A games this year, he hit .239/.393/.363 for a wRC+ of 114. That high on-base rate and limited power have been a part of this repertoire for a while now, though he also brings defensive versatility to the table. He spent time at second base, third base and shortstop this season.
As for Whitley, 27, he was added to the club’s 40-man roster in July of 2020 and has been an up-and-down arm for the club since then. He’s thrown 42 2/3 innings at the big league level over the past three seasons, registering a combined 3.38 ERA with a strong 24.9% strikeout rate but a high 12.4% walk rate. The needles moved in the wrong direction in 2022, as his ERA was up at 5.68, his punchouts down to 20.3% and his walks were up at 15.3%. Like Robertson, he will stick with the organization as depth but without taking up a spot on the 40-man.
Many teams face roster crunches at this time of year, given that there’s no injured list between the World Series and Spring Training, meaning guys on the 60-day IL will need spots again. Also, the deadline for adding players to protect them for the Rule 5 draft is coming up in mid-November. With those pressures, it seems that Robertson and Whitley were squeezed out and the Cards were willing to risk losing them on waivers.