Cardinals' offer to prospect Robert spurned

Piscotty comes off disabled list, starts vs. Giants

Cardinals' offer to prospect Robert spurned

ST. LOUIS -- Despite an aggressive attempt to lure one of the top international prospects to St. Louis, the Cardinals fell short in their pursuit of 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Luis Robert, who is instead finalizing a deal with the White Sox.

General manager John Mozeliak received official word Saturday that the Cardinals were out of the mix for Robert, though Mozeliak acknowledged he had sensed for a few days that this was not going to work out for the organization.

The Cardinals' bonus offer was among the most lucrative, but it was not believed to be the highest. A source indicated to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that the White Sox will pay Robert a bonus of about $26 million to $27 million to add him to their system. That would represent the second-highest bonus for an international amateur under the current signing guidelines.

For the Cardinals, the bidding process was complicated by the fact that they would have paid a dollar-to-dollar tax on any bonus to Robert. The organization incurred that penalty because it had already overspent its limit in this current international signing period.

That means that to have matched the White Sox reported offer, it would have cost the Cardinals $52 million to $54 million.

"When you're looking at the overall investment, it's real and historically there are not too many players that sign for that many dollars," Mozeliak said. "It's really hard to justify those types of dollars for any player with a lack of a proven track record. No matter how you try to equate the Cuban league or his international experience, it's very hard to calibrate what that means to here.

"I think our baseball development group did a really good job of trying to position this as why we went through the chase. I felt like the effort from behind the scenes was there and that our scouts did a very good job. At this point, there's not a whole lot I can add. We didn't get it done."

Piscotty returns

Sixteen days after suffering a right hamstring strain, Stephen Piscotty returned from the 10-day disabled list Saturday and jumped right back into the Cardinals' lineup as their two-hole hitter. Piscotty went 1-for-7 with a walk in three rehab games with Double-A Springfield.

"I felt good," Piscotty said. "I feel like the work we got done was really good, and hopefully it sets me up for not only success, but also health throughout the rest of the season. I'm trying to just do a whole body reset. It's good, and I feel good going forward."

That feeling didn't last long, though, as hours later Piscotty was plunked near the left elbow by a 94 mph fastball. A half-inning after that, he went hard into the wall making a catch in foul territory.

Worth noting

Jose Martinez will begin an expected six-game stay in extended spring camp Monday as he takes the next step in his recovery from a left groin injury suffered May 7. If all goes well there next week, Martinez will then start a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Palm Beach.

Trevor Rosenthal explained it was "normal usage soreness" that prompted the medical staff not to clear him for use Friday. That soreness was concentrated in his pitching arm, not around the right lat muscle that bothered him earlier this year. He was expected to be available to pitch Saturday.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.