The Cardinals announced this morning that right-hander Seth Elledge has been granted his unconditional release, and he’s quickly latched on with a new club. Elledge updated his social media profiles to reflect that he’s with the Braves organization (hat tip: Katie Woo of The Athletic), and MLBTR has confirmed that the righty indeed signed a minor league deal there.
Elledge, 25, was a fourth-round pick by the Mariners back in 2017 and found himself in the Cardinals organization by way of a 2019 trade that sent reliever Sam Tuivailala from St. Louis to Seattle. Elledge made his big league debut with the Cards in 2020 and wound up pitching exactly 11 2/3 innings for St. Louis with an identical 4.63 ERA in each of the past two seasons. He’s fanned 24% of the 52 big leaguers he’s faced and averaged 93.9 mph on his heater, but Elledge also walked seven hitters (14.4% walk rate) and hit another in his brief MLB looks. The Cardinals outrighted Elledge off the 40-man roster following the 2021 season.
Above-average strikeout rates and sub-par walk rates have been a hallmark of Elledge’s time both in the big leagues and in the minors. He carries a 3.93 ERA, 30.6% strikeout rate and 10.8% walk rate in parts of four pro seasons, but he’s had some particularly pronounced struggles in Triple-A (5.66 ERA, 13% walk rate in 70 frames). Command issues notwithstanding, Elledge regularly ranked in the middle tiers of the Cardinals’ prospects. FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen listed him 17th among St. Louis farmhands heading into 2021, praising Elledge’s mid-90s sinker and plus slider while noting that he has a tendency to lose command of the latter.
Elledge isn’t on the 40-man roster with the Braves, but he has a pair of minor league options remaining, so if he’s selected to the big league club at some point, he’ll provide Atlanta with some bullpen flexibility over the remainder of the season. He also doesn’t have a full year of MLB service time under his belt yet, so he’s technically controllable through 2027 — though a lot needs to go right before that’s even a factor to consider.