I have had the pleasure to meet many St. Louis Cardinals major and minor leaguers over the years and one of the nicest, most genuine of them is outfielder Cody Haerther. As you may know by now, the 2002 sixth-round draft pick was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft.
Though the 2008 season had to be difficult for the 25-year-old California native, he pressed on, contributing at both Memphis and Springfield.
Haerther had been dropped from the Cardinals’ 40-man roster twice in the last year. The first was just prior to last year’s Rule 5 Draft, when Toronto grabbed him off waivers only to try to pass him back through a few days later. Their attempt to send Haerther down to the minors was thwarted by the Cards, who claimed him right back.
St. Louis then outrighted Haerther off their 40-man again this summer, followed by them assigning him to Springfield for Rule 5 purposes. That essentially meant the Cards were willing to give Haerther away for $12,000. With no waiver restrictions this year, the Jays grabbed him a second time. He seems likely to begin with the Jays’ Triple-A squad in the spring.
Haerther asked me to pass this message on to Cardinals fans:
“Thank you for the support all these years. I can’t wait for a fresh start and a good opportunity with the Jays. I always wanted to be a Cardinal but it was apparent this year I was not in their plan, which is fine and I understand. But I’m very thankful that the Jays believe in my ability as do I. Hopefully one of these years the Jays and Cards will play in interleague. Thanks again.”
For more info on all the Cardinals Rule 5 activity on Thursday, including the addition of minor league reliever Russ Haltiwanger, check out my article on Scout.com.