Injuries & Moves: Cards ink RHP Zuniga to one-year deal

December 7th, 2022

Keep track of the Cardinals' transactions and injury updates throughout the offseason.

Dec. 6: RHP Guillermo Zuniga signs one-year Major League deal with Cards
The Cardinals signed Zuniga to a Major League contract for the 2023 season on Tuesday, per the team. The 40-man roster now stands at 38.

Zuniga, 24, previously split his six-year Minor League career with the Braves (2016-17) and Dodgers (2018-22) organizations. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder from Colombia most recently pitched at Double-A Tulsa in '22, and he ranked second in the Texas League in appearances (48) and tied for third in saves (11). During the 2021-22 seasons with Tulsa, Zuniga was a combined 11-6 with a 4.10 ERA and 115 strikeouts over 90 innings. In his Minor League career, Zuniga has appeared in 131 games (13 starts) while registering 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings.

Nov. 17: RHP  signs one-year deal with Cardinals
The Cardinals signed the righty reliever to a one-year deal one day before MLB’s non-tender deadline on Friday. Had he not reached a deal, Stratton was a candidate to be non-tendered by St. Louis and become a free agent.

The Cardinals acquired the 32-year-old in an August trade with the Pirates that centered on left-handed starter José Quintana. Stratton was 5-0 with a 2.78 ERA in 20 appearances with the Cardinals.

, the 2021 NL All-Star who missed all of the '22 season following surgery to repair a frayed labrum, is still a candidate to be non-tendered by the Cardinals, team president John Mozeliak said recently. Reyes, who is eligible for a third round of arbitration, isn’t expected to be ready to pitch at the start of next season, according to Mozeliak.

INJURY UPDATES

OF Tyler O'Neill (left hamstring strain)
Expected return2023
O’Neill suffered the injury -- his third of the season that required him to go onto the injured list -- on Sept. 16 while stealing second base. Deemed a Grade 1 strain at the time, the Cardinals had high hopes that the power-hitting O’Neill would return in the playoffs, but the Cardinals were eliminated during the Wild Card Series. O'Neill played in an Arizona Fall League game on Oct. 8, getting three at-bats and playing in left field. (Last updated: Oct. 8)

RHP Drew VerHagen (right hip impingement)
Expected return: 2023
VerHagen, who was limited all season by his hip injury, underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery. The 6-foot-6 righty, who was signed to compete for a starting rotation job after pitching professionally in Japan the past two years, will be ready for next Spring Training, according to Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol. VerHagen was moved to the 60-day injured list on Aug. 5. (Last updated: Aug. 5)

RHP Alex Reyes (right shoulder)
Expected return:
TBD
Reyes underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in May after a series of stem-cell injections in early March didn't alleviate the soreness in the labrum of his right shoulder.

Reyes, once considered to be the top pitching prospect in the Minor Leagues, has seen his career filled with injury-related stops and starts. He thought he was finally beyond those issues last season when he became a first-time NL All-Star. He converted his first 22 save opportunities before soreness and wildness in the strike zone resulted in him eventually losing his closer job to Giovanny Gallegos.

In parts of five seasons, Reyes has appeared in just 101 games -- seven as a starter. He is 16-11 with a 2.86 ERA while also adding in 31 saves in 36 opportunities in his MLB career. (Last updated: May 23)