One year after leading the NL in holds with 34, the Cardinals appear to have sold low on Mitchell Boggs, trading him for cash, international signing bonus cash to be exact.
According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, the Cardinals traded Mitchell Boggs to the Colorado Rockies for their International Signing Bonus slot #4, which is worth only $206,400.
Doesn't seem like a lot for a pitcher who just last year was one of the best setup men in the NL, but there is more to this move than just the international money.
First, thanks to the success of their rookie relievers, Boggs had become expendable. As Rick Hummel points out, the rookie quintet of Trevor Rosenthal, Seth Maness, Keith Butler, Michael Blazek and Kevin Siegrist have been stellar. In 96 innings, they have a combined 1.88 ERA with 102 K's.
These guys have been a big part of the Cardinals bullpen resurgence. After having the worst team bullpen ERA in April, thanks in large part to Boggs, the Cards pen has shown steady improvement over the last couple months, moving all the way up to 7th in the NL with a 3.52 bullpen ERA.
Also, in addition to the international cash, the Cardinals rid themselves of Boggs' $1,475,000 salary for the rest of the year (about $737,500). This was a sunk cost for the Cards, as it was unlikely that Boggs would make it back to the majors with the team, so to be able to dump his salary on the Rockies as well as getting a little extra international cash on top of it was a win-win scenario.
So, after a day of cleaning house for the Cardinals, including releasing Ty Wigginton, it will be interesting to see what the team's next move is.