Meet The Newest Cardinals
This off-season has not nearly been as exciting as the last few to proceed it, yet it still hasn’t been non-existent. Sure there was no big signing like a Carlos Beltran or Lance Berkman, but the Cardinals added three players to the major league roster taking over the vacant positions left by Berkman, Kyle Lohse, and Skip Schumaker the Cardinals biggest departures. Many of you may not have heard much about the newest additions to the Cardinals so I will try to introduce them to you, so you can get to know them before the upcoming season which is under 60 days away. Here is a look at the three newest Cardinals.
Signed to a three year 7.5 MM deal, Randy Choate is a 37 year old left handed reliever. Drafted by the Yankees way back in 1997 Choate has been a major leaguer since 2000. After spending four not very good seasons with the Yankees, Choate was traded to the Montreal Expos in a big deal that also sent Juan Rivera and Nick Johnson in exchange for Javier Vasquez. He was traded in the spring to the Arizona Diamondbacks where he would spend the next four seasons of his career. Since his departure from the Diamondbacks in 2007 he has bounced around pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins, and most recently the Los Angeles Dodgers. For his career in parts of 12 seasons he has a record of 11-11 with 4.02 ERA, six saves, and 266 strikeouts. Last season with the Marlins and Dodgers Choate compiled a 3.03 ERA, with 38 strikeouts to 18 walks in a league leading 80 games. He is a workhorse and can be pretty reliable but his age might be a question mark. I look to him to be a solid counterpart to Marc Rzepczynski as the two left handers in the bullpen.
Signed to a two year 5 MM deal, Ty Wiggington is a 35 year old capable of playing the first base, third base, and possibly the outfield. He was signed to be a “power” bat off of the bench something the Cardinals have lacked in recent years. He along with Matt Carpenter will probably see the majority of pinch-hitting and corner infield substitutions unless Carpenter proves himself worthy of starting at second base. Wigginton was drafted by the Mets in 1998 and he made his MLB debut in 2002. After spending parts of three seasons with the Mets he was traded to the Pirates where he would play until 2005. He then played with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, and more recently with the Philadelphia Phillies. For his career Wigginton is a .263 hitter with 169 HR, 591 RBI, 243 doubles, 549 runs scored, and 1,161 hits. Last season in 125 games with the Phillies he hit .235 with 11 HR, 11 doubles, and 43 RBI. Don’t expect much from Wigginton as his age should also be a question but he could prove to be a reliable bat off the bench.
Signed to a one year 1.15 MM deal, Ronny Cedeno is a 29 year old utility infield who will probably see most of his action backing up Rafael Furcal at shortstop. Cedeno was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cubs in 1999. He made his MLB debut in 2005 with the Cubs where he would go on to spend the next four seasons. He has since played for the Mariners, Pirates, and more recently the Mets. He is a career .247 hitter with 37 HR, 218 RBI, 108 doubles, 17 triples, and 241 runs scored. Last season with the Mets he appeared in just 78 games batting .259 with 4 HR, and 22 RBI. Cedeno is not a power bat, or really a contact bat for that matter but look for him to provide a similar role to Nick Punto, Aaron Miles, or even Skip Schumaker. I think he can make an impact but it probably won’t be a very big one. Of all of the moves this one is probably my favorite though, it is low risk and with his younger age, Cedeno could bounce back and provide with the Cardinals.