The club traded their incumbent starting shortstop to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for High-A righthanded starter Maikel Cleto. The club confirmed the move this afternoon with an announcement.
Ryan became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired infielder Ryan Theriot from the Los Angeles Dodgers last month. Theriot was billed immediately as the Cardinals starting shortstop, and they let other teams know that Ryan was availble [sic].
Pretty much the moment the dissapointing 2010 season came to a close, the Cardinals have done everything to rid themselves of Brendan Ryan short of putting him on the steps of the Padres in a basket, ringing the bell and running. They searched and searched for a new starting shortstop and then decided that they couldn’t afford a good one, settling with the scrappy Ryan Theriot. Moments after that accquistion, the Cardinals spent most of their time telling everyone that Theriot was starting shortstop and Ryan was a big douche that no one wanted to play with and they really needed to get rid of him. A clever gambit by the Cardinals to publicly disparage the player they were trying to unload in order to get as little return as possible worked out, netting Maikel Cleto from the Mariners.
Cleto, 21, went 4-9 with a 6.16 ERA in 23 appearances (21 of which were starts) with a career-high 83 strikeouts in 102 1/3 innings for the Mariners advanced-A affiliate. Cleto went on to start at the Arizona Fall League, where he went 2-1 with a 7.91 ERA in six starts.
…but apparently he can throw hard, so that’s something.
“I’m excited to go where I’m wanted,” Ryan told FOXSportsMidwest.com
Pretty safe to say that Brendan Ryan can now be listed in the “F*ck You Cardinals” list after having Tony LaRussa and General Manager John Mozeliak effectively create the MLB-version of a Craiglist ad with price of “Bag of balls or you’re best offer.” joining big names like Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds and Woody Williams along with small names like John Rodriguez.
Despite Ryan’s obvious claim to the “woe is me” title in all of this, the person we’re saddest for is Fox Sports Midwest baseball scribe B.J. Rains who spent the majority of this calendar year getting quotes from Ryan and then tweeting them ad nauseam. In just the last 6 hours (of this writing) Rains had dropped nearly 20 tweets about the departing shortstop.
Hang in there B.J.! We’ll keep our fingers crossed for you in the hopes that the Cardinals pick up someone later this off-season that will talk to you.