The Mariners have acquired Brendan Ryan from the Cardinals in exchange for pitching prospect Maikel Cleto, according to a team press release. Because Cleto was on Seattle's 40-man roster, no corresponding roster move will need to be made.
Ryan, 29 in March, is an elite defender at shortstop, as his career UZR/150 mark of 11.4 at the position (in nearly 2400 innings) indicates. While he's not much with the bat (career .259/.314/.344), Ryan has decent speed and base-stealing success (39 SB in 415 games, 75% success) and won't cost the Mariners much. He's arbitration-eligible for the first time after earning just $425K last season. He could serve as a defensively efficient stopgap until top prospect Dustin Ackley is ready at second base.
Cleto, 21, came to the Mariners in the J.J. Putz deal almost exactly two years ago today. The Dominican right-hander throws in the upper-90s, but struggles with his control and secondary pitches, tweets Kevin Goldstein from Baseball Prospectus. Last season, pitching for the High Desert Mavericks in High-A, Cleto threw 102 1/3 innings over 23 games (21 starts), striking out 7.3/9 and walking 3.9/9. His 6.16 ERA was a result of allowing 11 hits per nine innings pitched.
The Twins had been linked to Ryan earlier this weekend, but will now likely turn elsewhere in their search for middle infield depth.