Gloves 4 Troops

Some readers may remember last year I wrote about Cardinals’ minor league shortstop Vance Albitz and his Gloves 4 Troops drive. This morning I got thinking about it wondering if he’s doing it again this offseason. So I headed over to his site and it sure looks like he is.

What Albitz does is collect gloves and baseballs (or money to help buy/ship them) and then he sends them overseas to troops.

If you are interested in seeing how you can help, you can check out more information at his website gloves4troops.com and follow him on Twitter at @VanceAlbitz.

UCB Radio: November 28, 2013

Kevin Reynolds and I host this week’s UCB Radio and discuss the Jhonny Peralta signing, the David Freese trade, and other things related to Cardinal baseball. Listen to the podcast here:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ivieleagueproductions/2013/11/28/ucb-radio-hour

Winter Warm-Up Tickets On Sale Friday

Cardinals Care announced today that tickets for the 2014 edition of Winter Warm-Up will go on sale on Friday. The 18th annual Winter Warm-Up will be held January 18th through 20th at the Hyatt Regency in St. Louis. Passes can be purchased online, at the official team store in Busch Stadium, and Cardinals Clubhouse stores around St. Louis.

Tickets are $40 for people 16 and older, $10 for children 5-15, and free for kids under the age of 5. Members of the military, police and fire departments can receive one free pass, but must be obtained in person at Busch Stadium or the event.

Many players’ autographs are free with admission, but some require a special donation to Cardinals Care. Autograph tickets will be sold between January 6th and 15th.

You can get more information at cardinals.com/winterwarmup.

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Peralta signs with the Cardinals

The Cardinals confirmed this afternoon that they have signed free agent shortstop Jhonny Peralta. According to reports, the deal is a four year contract worth $53 million. The 31-year-old Peralta was a free agent after a three-year stint in Detroit where he hit .278/.334/.438 with 45 HRs and 204 RBI.

His stay there was capped off by a 50 game suspension for his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal. He would return during the playoffs for Detroit and hit .333/.353/.545 in 10 playoff games with the Tigers.

Despite the scandal, he was one of a few heavily courted free agents because of the shortages of quality shortstops. He had drawn interest from the Mets, Yankees, and Orioles.

Peralta is clearly an offensive improvement over the guy he is replacing, Pete Kozma, who hit .217/.275/.273 last season while Peralta hit .303/.358/.457 in an abbreviated career year. Even if he regresses to his career averages of .268/.330/.425, he is still a marked improvement for the Cardinals offensively at the shortstop position. [click to continue…]

Cardinals strike a deal with Angels

The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have traded third baseman David Freese and relief pitcher Fernando Salas to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for outfielders Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk.

The immediate effect of the deal is that it opens up third base for Matt Carpenter and, as a result, second base for prospect Kolten Wong. It also shores up their defense in center field with the addition of Bourjos.

Considering that Freese and Salas were widely thought to be non-tender candidates, this trade is believed to be quite the coup for Cardinals’ General Manager John Mozeliak.

David Freese was the hero of the 2011 World Series and a St. Louis native, so his connection to the area made him a hard player to trade. Logically though it made sense. Freese is 30 years old and coming off his worst season in a Cardinals’ uniform and also stands to get a substaintial raise in arbitration. Because of that, the odds of him returning to the Cardinals in 2014 were slim. The question that Mozeliak had to ask himself was whether we’d get the 2012 Freese (.293, 20 HR) or 2013 Freese (.262, 9 HR) going forward. [click to continue…]