The Cardinals were quiet in the Major League portion of Thursday morning’s Rule 5 Draft, but took two players in the Triple-A portion. The St. Louis Cardinals added infielder Matt Cerda and left handed pitcher Jay Voss. The organization also lost Stephen Hill who was selected by the Oakland Athletics. Since Voss and Cerda were selected in the Triple-A portion of the draft, they only need to remain in Triple-A.
Cerda, 22, was a 4th round pick of the 2008 draft by the Chicago Cubs out of high school. He has spent time through the years playing second and third base as well as a little catcher. Last year he hit .266/.394/.355 with 3 HR and 15 RBI for the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate Tennessee Smokies.
I’d expect Cerda to end up playing mostly third base as the Cardinals’ Kolten Wong will spend his time at second base. The organization has had a hole at third base since Matt Carpenter made the opening day roster last year. Zack Cox has also been traded, creating another hole. He fills a need and I like his on base percentage alot. Plus he seems to be a pretty good second baseman defensively by the numbers.
The winter meetings were going rather quiet for the St. Louis Cardinals. Until today, that is. The Cardinals have agreed to terms on a $7.5 million, 3 year deal with 37-year-old veteran left hander Randy Choate pending a physical. The deal solidifies the bullpen from the left side as he will pair with 27-year-old Marc Rzepczynski.
Entering the offseason the Cardinals hadn’t spent good money on a left handed reliever in a few years, and it has shown. It was one of the primary issues that the organization needed to address in the offseason, if not the primary one (though I labelled it key #2 in a previous post). I had the feeling entering the offseason that John Mozeliak was as tired as I was at dumpster diving for a fringe left handed reliever and hoping you could work magic and squeeze a year or two of performance out of him. It was time to get a reliable arm.
Choate is not the player I was hoping the Cardinals would add, and after Sean Burnett went to the Angels on an $8 million, 2 year deal when I thought he’d get $12 million over 2 years, I’m even a little more frustrated. Burnett is one of those lefties that can pitch both ways. And yes, while we have our seventh, eighth, and ninth innings locked up, if an opposing manager tries to play matchups late in the game, Burnett is the kind of pitcher you can leave in there so you don’t burn through your bullpen in a single inning. However, if you are looking for a straight up Lefty-One-Out-GuY (or LOOGY), Choate was one of the best on the market this offseason.