MLB Rumors: Cardinals trade prospect to Angels
The St. Louis Cardinals continued to improve their bullpen by signing Keynan Middleton to a one-year deal. As the corresponding move for Middleton, St. Louis made the curious decision to DFA hard-throwing right-hander Guillermo Zuniga. Rather than lose him for nothing off of waivers, the Cardinals wound up trading Zuniga to the Los Angeles Angels days later for cash considerations.
The Cardinals parting with the 25-year-old right-hander makes some sense as he had a rough 2023 season in the minors and has made only two MLB appearances, however, it's a curious decision to see John Mozeilak choose to get rid of Zuniga rather than other players at the end of their 40-man roster.
What makes Zuniga such an intriguing prospect is his stuff. The right-hander averaged 98.9 mph with his fastball according to Baseball Savant, making him one of the hardest throwers in the league. There's always some value there.
While command has always been an issue, Zuniga misses bats at an elite level, and has fanned 10.4 batters per nine in his seven-year minor league career. Sure, he probably won't stick in the majors without an improvement in his command, but Zuniga can be optioned to the minors, making it a curious decision for St. Louis to give up on him.
The Angels continue to build a solid bullpen with depth this offseason with this move. The rest of their team has massive questions that Perry Minasian has not come close to answering, but the bullpen, for once, should be solid. Zuniga only helps that as a young arm with immense potential being such a hard thrower.