Corey Baker, who gained acclaim across the baseball world for his performance in the World Baseball Classic, is no longer a member of the Cardinals organization.
The St. Louis Cardinals released righthanded pitcher Corey Baker out of their organization on Tuesday, bringing an end to the 27-year-old’s seven-year stint in the system. Baker, a 49th-round pick in 2011, was a non-roster invitee in major-league spring training earlier this year and had some great moments as part of the Cardinals organization. He had been pitching for Double-A Springfield this season and had logged time with that club for each of the previous four seasons.
Baker starred for Team Israel in this year’s World Baseball Classic, serving as a member of the starting rotation for a team that surprisingly went 3-0 during the first round of pool play and advanced to the final eight, helping to knock out traditional powers Korea and Cuba along the way. Baker’s greatest moment came in Israel’s first-round game against Chinese Taipei, when he allowed just three hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings.
Baker’s release from the organization is confounding, as he was having one of the better seasons of any reliever in the Cardinals’ system and pitched in the Texas League All-Star Game just two weeks ago. In 40 innings spanning 25 relief appearances this season, Baker had a 2.48 ERA with a 1.28 WHIP, 32 strikeouts, and 11 walks.
But since he’s 27 years old, perhaps the front office decided that he wasn’t going to reach the big leagues in a Cardinal uniform and wanted to give him a chance to catch on with another organization. With that said, releasing a player out of a minor-league system isn’t exactly the best way to express goodwill, as those players are often forced to go the independent ball route if they want to keep their dreams alive and catch on with another club.