Last Update: January 6, 2016
The following players have been signed to 2016 minor league contracts or acquired via trade, waivers, or the Rule 5 Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals and could be members of the Redbirds roster this season:
LHP Jayson Aquino - Aquino was claimed off waivers from the Indians and added to St. Louis' 40-man roster in December; Cleveland previously designated the southpaw for assignment earlier in the month. Aquino, who was traded twice during the 2015 season, split time between three teams across Advanced-A, going a combined 5-11 with a 3.28 ERA (50er/137.1ip) and 86 strikeouts in 24 starts. The left-hander spent the first four years of his professional career in the Rockies organization and represented Colorado in the 2014 prospect-laden Arizona Fall League.
RHP John Brebbia - Brebbia was claimed by St. Louis in the first round of the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft in December from the Diamondbacks organization. The 25-year-old right-hander pitched the last two seasons in the Independent American Association for Sioux Falls (2014) and Laredo (2015). One day after winning Laredo's first American Association championship and being named MVP of the championship series, Brebbia had his contract purchased by Arizona. In 2015, Brebbia set a Laredo franchise record with 19 saves, to go along with a 7-2 record, 0.98 ERA (7er/64.1ip), and .149 average against. Previously, Brebbia had played for three years in the Yankees system and was released after the 2013 season. He was originally selected in the 30th round out of Elon University in 2011.
C Eric Fryer - Fryer signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals in November and received an invite to Major League spring training in 2016. The 30-year-old has spent parts of each of the last five seasons in the Majors between Pittsburgh (2011-12) and Minnesota (2013-15), including hitting .227 (5-for-22) with a pair of doubles and RBI in 15 games with the Twins last season. Originally selected by the Brewers in the 10th round of the June, 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Ohio State University, Fryer shares the same hometown of Reynoldsburg, Ohio with Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.
RHP Juan Gonzalez - Gonzalez signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals in November and received an invite to Major League spring training in 2016. The 25-year-old right-hander went 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA (8er/33.0ip) and 12 saves for Triple-A Oklahoma City a season ago, striking out 51 and walking 15 for the Dodgers' affiliate. Originally signed as a minor league free agent by the Rockies in 2007, Gonzalez has pitched in the domestic minor leagues since 2009 and represented the Dodgers in the MLB Futures Game last season.
RHP Michael Heesch - Heesch was claimed by St. Louis in the second round of the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft in December from the Cubs organization. The right-hander pitched the entire 2015 season with Advanced-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans, going 8-2 with a 2.24 ERA (16er/64.1ip) and 49 strikeouts in 33 games (two starts). The 6-for-5 Heesch pitched collegiately at the University of South Carolina Beaufort and was originally selected by Chicago (N) in the 8th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.
RHP Jeremy Hefner - Hefner signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals in December and received an invite to Major League spring training in 2016. The 6-foot-4 right-hander did not pitch in 2015, but recently appeared for Gigantes del Cibao in this year's Dominican Winter League. Hefner, who has undergone two Tommy John ligament replacement surgeries since 2013, was originally selected by San Diego in the fifth round of the 2007 First-Year-Player Draft out of Oral Roberts University. He most recently pitched in the Mets' system from 2012-14, where he made 36 starts (8-15) and recorded a 4.65 ERA over 224 1/3 innings pitched in 2012-13.
RHP Deck McGuire - McGuire, a former first round pick (11th overall) by Toronto in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Georgia Tech, was signed by the Cardinals as a minor league free agent in November. The 6-foot-6 right-hander split the 2015 season between two levels of the Dodgers system, going a combined 9-6 with a 3.69 ERA (56er/136.2ip) and 119 strikeouts in 20 games (18 starts) between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
RHP J.C. Sulbaran - The 26-year-old Sulbaran signed a minor league deal with the Cardinals in December after spending the last three seasons in the Royals organization. The right-hander split the 2015 campaign between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, going 7-10 with a 5.24 ERA (77er/132.1) and 99 strikeouts in 28 games (23 starts). Sulbaran came to the United States from the Netherlands Antilles in 2006 and was originally selected in the 30th round of the 2008 First-Year-Player Draft by the Reds out of American Heritage High (Fla.), where he was a teammate of Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.
In 2012, Sulbaran was traded to the Royals with pitcher Donnie Joseph in exchange current Cardinals reliever Jonathan Broxton. He pitched for the Dutch National Team during the 2008 Summer Olympics and the 2009 and 2013 World Baseball Classics. He earned the save for the World Team at the 2009 MLB Futures Game while with Single-A Daytona as a member of the Reds organization.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.