Cardinals add RHP Carlos Villanueva for flexibility

The Cardinals announced that they signed a minor league deal with right handed pitcher Carlos Villanueva yesterday. The former Cub looks to add versatility to the Cardinals’ options in this year’s flier signing.

Villanueva, 31, played for the Cubs in each of the past two seasons and was solid in relief for them both seasons. He posted a 3.03 ERA in 39 innings of relief in 2013 and then followed that up with a 2.64 ERA in 58 innings of relief in 2014, striking out 8.8 batters per 9 innings both years. He wrapped up the 2014 season with a 1.69 ERA in 27 innings after the All Star Break.

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Cardinals acquire catcher Michael Ohlman from Baltimore

The Cardinals announced today that they have acquired catcher Michael Ohlman from the Baltimore Orioles for cold, hard cash. Ohlman was DFA’d by the Orioles after they acquired Travis Snider last week.

An 11th round pick whose whose future looked bright after a stellar 2013 where he won the Carolina League batting title. His slash line was .313/.410/.524 with 13 homers. Except this past season he was promoted to Double-A where he hit a wall, hitting just .236 with 2 homers.

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New commish would consider banning defensive shifts

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.”

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Jon Jay remains without a salary

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.

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Cardinals acquire IF Ty Kelly

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.

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