Cardinals non-tender four players; Knizner, Hudson and others now free agents

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ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals have non-tendered four players, including two position players and two pitchers, ahead of Friday’s deadline.

A “non-tender” decision essentially means the Cardinals opt not to extend a contract offer to such players for the 2023 season while under team control, leading them to become free agents before the usual service time that would otherwise happen.

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The Cardinals chose to non-tender four players. The most notable: Backup catcher Andrew Knizner, who has developed a strong rapport with pitchers and improved offensively despite limited playing time over the last few seasons.

Pitchers Dakota Hudson and Jake Woodford and infielder/outfielder Juan Yepez, who came up with a big postseason home run in 2022, were also non-tendered.

Knizner, Hudson, Woodford and Yepez all become free agents. The Cardinals active 40-man roster now stands at 36 out of a possible maximum of 40 players.

Perhaps the moves give the Cardinals some flexibility to add players via free agency and trades in the offseason. Lead executive John Mozeliak has reiterated a desire to add up to three starting pitchers before the 2024 campaign. The non-tendered players could give the Cardinals a little more flexibilty in doing that.

The Cardinals, along with the 29 other MLB teams, had a Friday deadline of 7 p.m. CT to decide how many eligible players would be tendered contracts. Players with this fate can either agreed to a contract offered by the Cardinals or push for more in arbitration.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details.


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