Ronny Cedeno Rumors
This year's quiet trade deadline is indicative of a brand of baseball in which youth is prized and the strategy of absorbing salary in deadline trades isn't as viable as it once was, Derrick Goold says in an article for the St. Louis Post Dispatch. With sellers such as the White Sox asking for "top 50" or "top 15" prospects in trades for their veterans, according to Goold, NL Central contenders the Cardinals, the Reds and the Pirates opted to stick with the teams they already had in place. Moving too many prospects in a trade is "the quickest way to head in the wrong direction," Pirates GM Neal Huntington opined. On to more Saturday night NL links:
- The Padres signed shortstop Ronny Cedeno to a minor league deal with the knowledge that starting shortstop Everth Cabrera may be suspended on Monday in connection with the Biogenesis investigation, GM Josh Byrnes told Bill Center of The San Diego Union-Tribune. “From Josh’s standpoint, we have to make sure we are covered at shortstop in case we need one,” manager Bud Black said.
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer expects the waiver trade period to be more active than the non-waiver one, Manny Randhawa of MLB.com reports. However, Hoyer notes that there's some luck involved in putting together a trade after July 31. "If the wrong team claims a guy and won't give up any talent, you're kind of stuck, so waiver deals can work out, but you can also get stuck and not be able to make a deal," Hoyer said.
- Nationals starter Ross Detwiler's lingering back issues may cause him to miss the rest of the season, manager Davey Johnson indicated in an article by Amanda Comak of The Washington Times. As Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post reported in July, many rival executives expected the Nats to acquire a starter after Detwiler hit the DL early last month. However, GM Mike Rizzo's lone July deal was a trade to acquire bench bat Scott Hairston from the Cubs.
The shortstop was cut loose by Houston after batting just .220/.260/.298 in 51 games. His departure from Houston cleared the way for the promotion of new starting shorstop Jonathan Villar. Cedeno signed with the Astros in March after being released by the Cardinals.
July 21: The Astros have designated Carlos Pena and Ronny Cedeno for assignment, Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Cedeno's departure clears the way for Jonathan Villar, who has been promoted and will be the Astros' new starting shortstop.
Pena was hitting .209/.324/.350, continuing his longstanding trend of struggling to hit for average -- he still takes plenty of walks, but he hasn't posted a batting average above .227 since 2008. He signed a one-year, $2.9MM contract with the Astros in December. Brett Wallace and Chris Carter appear likely to take over much of Pena's playing time at first base.
Cedeno was hitting .220/.260/.298 in 141 at bats. He signed with the Astros in March after being released by the Cardinals. Villar, 22, was hitting .278/.342/.444 for Triple-A Oklahoma City. The Astros acquired him, along with J.A. Happ and Anthony Gose, when they sent Roy Oswalt to the Phillies in 2010.
Today's minor moves..
- Right-hander Billy Buckner cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment by the Angels to Triple-A Salt Lake, tweets MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. Buckner was designated for assignment by the Angels last Thursday.
- Rich Harden asked for and was granted his release from the Twins organization, tweets Dustin Morse, Director of Baseball Communications and Player Relations for the club. Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets Harden's contract contained an opt-out date of July 31, if he wasn't placed on the 25-man roster by then.
- The Astros announced that they have released shortstop Ronny Cedeno. He will be free to sign with another club once he clears unconditional release waivers tomorrow. Cedeno, who was designated for assignment last week, was hitting .220/.260/.298 in 155 plate appearances for Houston.
Edward Creech contributed to this post.
Former Expos and Orioles GM Jim Beattie, who's now a pro scout for the Blue Jays, says the Jays are looking for help at second base and in their bullpen, Bob Elliott of the Canadian Baseball Network notes. "We’re always looking for pitching depth in the bullpen and our situation at second place is a little unsettled," Beattie says. "We have two guys (Emilio Bonifacio and Maicer Izturis) there but they’re not everyday guys." Here are more notes from the American League.
- Astros GM Jeff Luhnow explains the rationale that led the team to replace Jed Lowrie with Tyler Greene, and then to replace Greene with Ronny Cedeno, Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle reports. "When the Cardinals released Ronny Cedeno, he was a player that we had targeted during the offseason. But we had Lowrie most of the offseason, so we weren't aggressive," says Luhnow. "When (Cedeno) became available, we went back to our original plan, which was to try and get him in here." The Cardinals signed Cedeno in late January, while the Astros did not trade Lowrie (to the Athletics) until early February.
- Reliever Kameron Loe is hoping to stay with the Mariners, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes. The Mariners need to decide by Tuesday whether to open a roster spot for Loe, or the non-roster pitcher could exercise an out clause in his contract. "I hope we can work something out," Loe says. "I really like it here." Loe posted a 4.61 ERA with 7.2 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9 in 68 1/3 innings for the Brewers in 2012.
The Astros have officially signed Ronny Cedeno to a one-year Major League contract, the team announced via press release Sunday morning. The Praver/Shapiro client was released by the Cardinals last week.
After the Astros' February trade of Jed Lowrie to the Athletics, Tyler Greene and Marwin Gonzalez top the organization's depth chart at shortstop, but neither has been impressive this spring. Cedeno also plays second base, although Jose Altuve is entrenched there.
Cedeno hit .259/.332/.410 in 78 games for the Mets last season. He has also played for the Pirates, Mariners and Cubs. After losing Nate Freiman to the Athletics, the Astros have space for Cedeno on their 40-man roster.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Some news from around the NL Central...
- The Cubs haven't been in contact with Chone Figgins, ESPN Chicago's Jesse Rogers reports. Figgins was released by the Marlins earlier this week and, as Rogers notes, is one of the few veteran options available if the Cubs want to bring in a third baseman.
- Ronny Cedeno has cleared waivers after being released by the Cardinals three days ago, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (via Twitter).
- Chris Cwik of CBSSports.com analyzes the cost of an Adam Wainwright extension with the Cardinals and figures Wainwright will end up being paid between $21-$23.5MM per season. Talks are ongoing between Wainwright and the Cards and the ace right-hander feels positive that an extension will be settled before Opening Day. Wainwright is eligible for free agency after this season.
- Jonathan Sanchez can opt out of his minor league deal with the Pirates on Sunday if he hasn't been added to the club's Major League roster, but the Bucs have until Tuesday to respond, MLB.com's Tom Singer reports. Sanchez's one-year contract will guarantee him $1.375MM if he makes the roster.
- Also from Singer, he opines that the Pirates' trade for John McDonald is the kind of veteran acquisition a team makes when it believes it will contend. Otherwise, Singer wonders why Pittsburgh would add McDonald to an already-deep middle infield mix.
Cedeno played for the Mets last year, appearing in 78 games, mostly as a middle infielder. The 30-year-old posted a .259/.332/.410 batting line in 186 plate appearances with New York. He earned $1.2MM in 2012 and drew interest from multiple teams this past offseason.
Matt Adams has an excellent chance of making the Cardinals' bench now, as Goold notes. Daniel Descalso figures to back up Pete Kozma at shortstop and Ty Wigginton will provide depth at the corner positions.
Three years ago this time a memorable rumor made its way onto the pages of MLBTR, as ESPN reported the possibility of a Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols swap. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. quickly dismissed the report that the Phillies had talked internally about the idea, saying "I don't know who you're talking to, but that's a lie." It’s rare for such an exciting rumor to circulate during Spring Training, so it generated lots of discussion. Ultimately the rumors quieted down and the deal never materialized. Here are some National League notes for Friday morning...
- It's possible the Cardinals will release Ronny Cedeno and keep Matt Adams on the Opening Day roster, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com writes. Keeping Cedeno would give the Cardinals a backup shortstop, but they could instead choose to rely on Daniel Descalso.
- GM Kevin Towers is optimistic that the Diamondbacks' young starters will pitch better in 2013 after obtaining some MLB experience in 2012, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes. Towers also expects the addition of Brandon McCarthy and the strength of the team's bullpen will help the rotation.
- Some MLB evaluators aren’t fully convinced that Mets catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud warrants the attention he’s getting, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports. “He’s 24 and hasn’t played in the big leagues yet,” one executive said. “Where was Yadi at 24? Where was Buster Posey at 24?” The Mets acquired d’Arnaud for R.A. Dickey in December.
Earlier today the Cardinals announced a five-year, $31MM extension for Allen Craig that buys out up to two of the 28-year-old’s free agent seasons. Here are some more notes related to the Cardinals, who learned this week that shortstop Rafael Furcal will have to undergo Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow...
- Furcal’s injury isn’t disastrous, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. As long as Pete Kozma can provide acceptable defense until the trade market develops, the Cardinals should be fine. The team’s internal projections didn’t expect more than 100 starts from Furcal in 2013, according to Strauss.
- The early returns on Ronny Cedeno are “less than glowing,” according to Strauss, who notes that Cedeno’s $1.2MM contract is not guaranteed.
- The Cardinals remain apart on years and dollars in extension talks with Adam Wainwright, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter). Mozeliak expressed optimism about the discussions, telling Stark "I feel good about where we're headed but we'll see."