Cardinals lose Bowman on waivers to Reds, part ways with Peña

Former Cardinals reliever Matt Bowman was claimed on waivers by the Reds on Friday.
Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS — As the St. Louis Cardinals pare down their 40-man roster in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft and free agency, they’re parting ways with two players who contributed to the major league club in 2018.

Catcher Francisco Peña, who served as Yadier Molina‘s primary backup this past season, was outrighted off the 40-man roster and elected free agency rather than accepting a minor league assignment. The team also attempted to outright reliever Matt Bowman to the minors, but he was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds.

The 29-year-old Peña, son of former Cardinals catcher Tony Peña, hit .203 with two homers over 190 at-bats in 2018. Bowman, 27, had been a key contributor out of the bullpen in 2016-17, though injuries and inconsistency limited his usage in 2018. Over three seasons with the Cardinals, he posted a 4.10 ERA with 124 strikeouts and 49 walks in 156 appearances (149 1/3 innings).

The moves made room for the Cardinals to add recently re-signed free-agent pitcher Adam Wainwright to the 40-man roster while also reinstating four players from the 60-day disabled list: outfielder Dexter Fowler and pitchers Luke Gregerson, Alex Reyes and Michael Wacha.