ST. LOUIS -- Catcher Rob Johnson, outfielder Adron Chambers and outfielder/first baseman Brock Peterson joined the ranks of free agency after being outrighted from the Cardinals' 40-man roster on Tuesday. The moves, which also included reinstating reliever Jason Motte from the 60-day disabled list, reduced the number of players on the St. Louis roster to 37.
Those openings give the Cardinals roster flexibility to make offseason additions. The space is also necessary as the Cardinals determine which Minor League players they want to protect from the December Rule 5 Draft. The deadline to add those players is Nov. 20.
Johnson, whose service time made him arbitration-eligible this winter, was expected to be non-tendered. He made the organization's Triple-A Memphis roster after being a non-roster invitee to Spring Training. In July, Johnson found his way to St. Louis, and he remained on the Cardinals' 25-man roster as a third catcher through the end of the season.
Johnson had just 35 Major League at-bats this season, though his biggest contributions came during his time in Memphis, when he worked with several of the organization's top young pitchers.
Chambers had exhausted all of his options after fluctuating between the Majors and Minors in each of the past three seasons. He had two separate stints in the Majors in 2013 and remained on the Cardinals' roster through the first two rounds of the postseason. He had four hits in 26 at-bats during the regular season.
After toiling in the Minors and independent ball since 2003, Peterson earned his first big league callup in July in what was one of the feel-good stories of the Cardinals' season. Peterson resurrected his baseball career with a standout season in Triple-A, where he was named to the All-Star team. The success did not carry over to St. Louis -- he went 2-for-26, mostly as a pinch-hitter -- but Peterson was able to fulfill his Major League dream.
The Cardinals' list of arbitration-eligible players shrinks to five with Tuesday's news. John Axford and Fernando Salas are non-tender candidates. The other three -- David Freese, Jon Jay and Daniel Descalso -- are likely to receive offers. Lance Lynn missed becoming arbitration-eligible a year early as a Super Two player by only a few days of Major League service time.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less