Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stottlemyre Joins Cards' Arm Force 3 Minor-League Pitchers, Battle Go to a's in Trade

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stottlemyre Joins Cards' Arm Force 3 Minor-League Pitchers, Battle Go to a's in Trade

Article excerpt

The Cardinals added to their already crowded pitching rotation Tuesday by trading from their rotation of the future.

They linked up again on their Oakland connection when they acquired righthander Todd Stottlemyre from the Athletics for four players - outfielder Allen Battle and three promising minor-league pitchers. Stottlemyre, who was 14-7 for Cardinals manager Tony La Russa at Oakland last year, probably will be plugged into the No. 2 spot in the 1996 rotation behind righthander Andy Benes, signed two weeks ago.

There are four other starting candidates - lefthanders Danny Jackson and Donovan Osborne and righthanders Alan Benes and Mike Morgan - in addition to swingmen Mark Petkovsek, Tom Urbani and Brian Barber.

"It's a good problem to have too much pitching," Stottlemyre said.

The Cardinals also parted with lefthander Bret Wagner, 22, their top draft pick in 1994, and righthanders Jay Witasick, 23, and Carl Dale, 23. Wagner, from Wake Forest, was 5-4 with a 2.12 earned-run average at St. Petersburg and 1-2, 3.19 at Class AA Arkansas.

Witasick, who played for the same two teams, was 7-7, 2.74, at St. Petersburg and 2-4, 6.88 at Arkansas. Witasick also struck out 135 and walked 52 in 139 innings at those two stops. Wagner whiffed 90 and walked 44 in 130 innings.

Dale was 9-9, 2.94 at Class A Peoria in a hitting-dominated Midwest League. He struck out 104 while walking 62 in 143 2/3 innings.

Battle, 27, batted .271 with only five extra-base hits in 118 at-bats.

Mike Jorgensen, the Cardinals' director of player development, said all three pitchers were considered major-league prospects. "But when you go shopping in the high-rent district, you know it's going to be expensive," he said.

Jorgensen added, though, "We're still pitching-rich. People are always talking about our pitchers." He said the Cardinals still have such prospects as Barber, Matt Morris, Kris Detmers and Mike Busby.

Morris, who is slated to pitch in Class AA, after only half a professional season, was the Cardinals' top draft pick last year. Detmers was 10-9 at St. Petersburg and Busby was 9-8 at Arkansas and Louisville.

The acquisition of Stottlemyre, 30, adds to an already burgeoning Cardinals payroll, which has taken on $5 million and $4 million contracts i

n Ron Gant and Andy Benes, in addition to $2 million for Gary Gaetti and an estimated $1.5 million for new shortstop Royce Clayton.

Stottlemyre made a base salary of $1.8 million last year and is expected to garner close to $3 million as an arbitration-eligible player after a good season in 1995. He also struck out 205 while walking 80.

Signed initially by Toronto, Stottlemyre has a big-league record of 83-77 and five times has won 11 or more games. Stottlemyre wanted to be traded either to New York, where his father, Mel, is pitching coach of the Yankees, or St. …

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