Ron Manfred hasn’t been on his new job as MLB Commissioner very long and he’s already taken aim at a new trend in baseball. Defensive shifts. Manfred telling ESPN’s Karl Ravech during a sit down interview, “I think the second set of changes that I would look at is related, and that relates to injecting additional offense into the game. For example, things like eliminating shifts. I would be open to those sorts of ideas.”
Over the last 36 hours the news has come flying. The Cardinals had four arbitration eligible players to resolve. First it was Lance Lynn agreeing to a 3 year, $22 million deal. Then it was Tony Cruz avoiding arbitration for $775,000. This morning Peter Bourjos joined the club, agreeing to a 1 year deal for $1.65 million. The only one that hit this afternoon’s deadline unsigned was Jon Jay.
Now lets be clear about what this means and doesn’t mean because I’ve seen a lot of tweets today expressing regret that Jay wasn’t signed and how he needs to be brought back. The lack of a deal doesn’t mean that he isn’t still a Cardinal. He is still under team control and will be a Cardinal in 2015. The only thing left to be determined is what he will be paid.
The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired infielder Ty Kelly from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for RHP Sam Gaviglio. Kelly has been added to the Cardinals’ 40 man roster, which will protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. Today was the last day to add players to the 40 man roster to protect them ahead of December’s Rule 5 Draft.
Kelly, 26, was a 13th round pick by Baltimore in the 2009 draft from UC Davis (notably, the same school that Daniel Descalso played his college ball). A switch hitting infielder, Kelly has appeared at every position except catcher in his minor league career, playing mainly second and third bases. Last season in Triple-A, Kelly posted a line of .263/.381/.412 with 15 home runs in 134 games.
Over the past few days I’ve seen more than one mention that the Minnesota Twins are interested in acquiring Peter Bourjos. That is of note because last summer there was some reported trade interest from the Twins to acquire Jon Jay. With a beat writer even venturing to throw out some possible returns for the Cardinals in such a deal.
Trading Bourjos does seem to make sense. John Mozeliak talked about getting an idea of the trade value of a few players and Bourjos was one of them, but I still think that keeping Bourjos in St. Louis makes the most sense for the Cardinals, at least for one more year. And that’s not just me having fantasies of a Jay-Bourjos-Heyward outfield, even if it’s just once.
Jim Bowden suggested on Twitter last night that the St. Louis Cardinals have joined the pursuit of free agent LHP Jon Lester. He cited a “club source.” The other clubs that are reportedly already in the running are the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, and Atlanta Braves.
This would certainly contradict the notion that after yesterday’s acquistion of Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden that the Cardinals would be done with major moves. Does John Mozeliak have something else up his sleeve?