The Cardinals announced today via their official Twitter feed (@CardsInsider
) that the Braves have claimed infielder/outfielder Joe Mather off of waivers.
Mather, 27, has struggled to regain his health and his form since a breakout 2008 in which he hit eight home runs in 133 at-bats. He has battled injuries, most notably a troublesome left wrist that required multiple operations, since late in ’08.
A right-handed hitter, Mather is an impressive athlete who can be a formidable presence at the plate when healthy. The question, though, is his health.
He enjoyed a strong spring in 2010 and made the Opening Day roster, but scuffled at the plate and was optioned to Triple-A Memphis in May. He was recalled in September and finished the year with a .217/.242/.283 line in 64 plate appearances.
Mather can play first base, third base and all three outfield positions.
Many teams will make relatively minor moves between now and Saturday as they set their 40-man rosters in advance of full free agency. Any player with six or more years of Minor League experience who is not on a 40-man roster as of Saturday afternoon becomes a free agent.