By: Jim Tsapelas
As of Thursday at 12:40 PM, Central Time, reports from the MLB Winter Meetings said representatives of outfielder Jason Heyward were in talks with both the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. Heyward was the right fielder for the 2015 Central Division Champions St. Louis Cardinals. Reports are Heyward, who is twenty-six, is seeking a ten-year deal. Heyward came to the Redbirds from the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Shelby Miller.
On Thursday the Cardinals selected RHP Matthew Bowman in the Rule 5 Draft. Bowman, 24, has spent four years in professional baseball with the New York Mets organization. His lifetime record is 29-30; with an ERA of 3.87. Last season for AAA-Las Vegas he was 7-16; with a 5.53 ERA. Players selected in the Rule 5 Draft are automatically placed on their team’s forty-man roster.
On Wednesday, Johnny Cueto’s agent, Bryce Dixion, was working his magic in an attempt to draw the Cardinals into the bidding for Cueto; as reported by Zach Links of MLB Trade Rumors.
Cardinal fans all too well remember a pier six brawl between the Redbirds and Reds in 2010. The brawl began when Brandon Phillips, who had been trash talking the Cardinals, via Twitter, tapped Cardinal catcher Yadier Molina on his shin guards during Phillips first at bat. That brawl also involved the Cardinals Chris Carpenter, Scott Rolen, and many big named stars from both the St. Louis and Cincinnati teams.
Cueto was also a major factor in the ensuing bench clearing scuffle and began kicking wildly at Cardinal players as he positioned himself against the screen that rises from the backstop at the Great American Ball Park. Cueto kicked fan favorite and former Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter. Most notably and infamously Cueto kicked the Cardinal back-up catcher Jason LaRue, repeatedly in the head, thus ending LaRue’s playing career.
Cueto, 29, reportedly turned down a six-year, $126 million contract from the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this month. Since then, his market interest has been fairly quiet.