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…]

Cardinals trade Freese

Cardinals trade 3B David Freese and RHP Fernando Salas to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for OF Peter Bourjos and minor league OF Randal Grichuk.

Cards make last roster move before Rule 5 Draft

During the press conference for Mike Matheny’s extension, John Mozeliak informed us that Oscar Taveras, Mike O’Neill, and Greg Garcia had been added to the 40 man roster. They also removed John Gast and Jermaine Curtis, while Ryan Jackson was claimed off waivers by the Houston Astros. The moves mean that there are still 36 players on the 40 man roster, leaving room for a draft acquisition, a trade, or free agent signings.

Oscar Taveras, 21, is widely viewed as the best hitting prospect in baseball. He spent most of last season fighting a nagging ankle injury. He is expected by many to contend for a spot on the Opening Day roster for the Cardinals, if not start in center field this coming season. He hit .306/.341/.462 with 5 HR over 46 games for Triple-A Memphis last season.

Mike O’Neill, 25, was a name that I hadn’t heard before. He was a 31st round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2010. O’Neill has hit at every level of the minors and split last season between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis. He posted a .314/.424/.369 slash line with 2 HR in 130 games.

Greg Garcia, 24, has been Kolten Wong’s double play buddy since college, as they both went to the University of Hawai’i. A long shot to stick at shortstop, it’s been said of Garcia that he probably would have moved to second base on every team he’s been on if not for Wong. Garcia struggled a bit with the jump to Triple-A, but still posted a solid season with a .271/.377/.384 line with 3 HR in 116 games. [click to continue…]

Final roster moves before the Rule 5 Draft

Cardinals announce the addition of OF Oscar Taveras, IF Mike O’Neill, and IF Greg Garcia to the 40-man roster. LHP John Gast and IF Jermaine Curtis removed from 40-man roster. IF Ryan Jackson has been claimed by the Houston Astros.