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Cardinals expected to non-tender infielder Ryan Theriot

Dec 8, 2011, 7:03 PM EDT

theriot getty wide Getty Images

From MLB Network’s Jon Heyman comes word that the Cardinals are likely to non-tender infielder Ryan Theriot before the December 12 deadline.

The Cards were left unimpressed by Theriot’s defense at shortstop this past season and have already committed to 25-year-old Daniel Descalso as their starting second baseman for 2012.

Theriot, who possesses a weak .697 career OPS, will soon begin the process of looking for another club. Heyman suggests that the Mets, Braves, Reds, Astros, Blue Jays and Royals might have interest.

The 32-year-old batted just .271/.321/.342 across 483 plate appearances in 2011.

  1. thefalcon123 - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    The first bit of good Cardinals new today!

  2. spudchukar - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:32 PM

    What concerns me the most regarding the Pujols departure is the influence it will have on current and would be players. Molina will almost certainly depart after next year. Berkman came because he believed, correctly, that St. Louis would be a place to get a ring. I worry that Furcal won’t be as interested to resign with the Cards, and the ownership’s unnecessary frugality won’t bode well for future signees.

    No problem with the Theriot non-tender, but here’s to hoping they re-up on Punto. Watching him this past year was a pleasure. The dude can flat out defend, at any position and is a tough out in the clutch.

    It is hard to see where the Cards can spend the $22 mil. Rollins maybe, but it is doubtful he would get a 4 year deal, much less a 5 year one. I guess the savings will be pocketed by the only billionaire in the these discussions.

    • fearlessleader - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:49 PM

      Spuchukar, why do you think Yadi will take off?

      • bozosforall - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:52 PM

        No reason for him to leave. Heck, they get Adam Wainwright back next season to further improve the already good rotation.

      • fearlessleader - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:05 PM

        Oops, spudchukar, I left out your “d” the first time. Anyway—I’m not sure why Yadi would leave, especially now that there will (presumably) be a lot more salary flexibility and an opening for the role of “signature franchise player of the 21st century.”

      • spudchukar - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:57 PM

        He will follow Albert to the Angels. Cards won’t pay him what he is worth, and one year of Ianetta, and Scioscia will welcome Pujols’ best friend.

    • bozosforall - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:49 PM

      Go get Prince Fielder. Problem solved.

      • JBerardi - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:06 PM

        You’re not worried that would be “buying” a championship?

      • bozosforall - Dec 9, 2011 at 3:12 PM

        Not “buying” a championshp at all, especially given that Fielder will cost less than Pujols would have. As opposed to the stupid Red Sox letting VMart and Beltre (both who were stars on playoff teams) and then spending a fortune for Gonzalez (who was good but faded late) and Crawford (who sucked in relation to his cost). Make all the excuses you want to but the Red Sox tried to “buy” a title and failed to even make the playoffs. The joke is on all you Red Sox loser fans.

    • cptnew1 - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:53 PM

      Agree with everything you said Spud. What are your thoughts of Descalso/Greene middle infield next year and bringing in another bat in RF, that could also spell Berkman at first? Ludwick maybe? Kubel?

      • spudchukar - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:17 PM

        Kubel would be my preference. If Ludwick is still able to play CF against tough lefties then he would make some sense. A defensive substitute would be necessary if Kubel would be inserted into RF.

        Greene’s defensive abilities scare me, and Descalso won’t provide much offense. Plus his number one asset is his arm which is negated at 2B. Offensively Greene has shown signs of improving and he does have pop and of course unheralded speed. Looks like Schumaker will be back cause he can always be an OF backup defensive replacement. As mentioned before I will be disappointed if Punto isn’t resigned, if it came down to the two my money is on Punto.

        Hoping Descalso, Greene, Jay and Craig all play up to expectations is probably unreasonable. However I just do not see much maneuverability. Rollins, maybe, but I doubt if he would get what he wants here, and his comments congratulating Pujols probably means he doesn’t think alot of St. Louis’ management, plus his agent is Lozano.

        No thanks on Fielder or Beltran, unless they are very short deals.

      • paperlions - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:56 PM

        I’ll also say no thanks to Ludwick and Kubel, even if they are short deals. If they are going to get a bat…at least get one that works.

      • spudchukar - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:27 PM

        Kubel is strill fairly young and in 2009, before the move to Target Field, he slugged 28 HRs, 103 RBIs and sported a 136 OPS+. No guarantees he would produce similar numbers but I sure would take a season like that, even with his defensive liabilities.

      • paperlions - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:26 AM

        I would take a season like that too….but looking at his career, that season was clearly a BABIP-driven outlier. It is the only season he has had an OBP > .335 and the only season he has had a wOBA > 111. He’s 30, which isn’t old….but isn’t young either. He is what he is, which is a poor defensive corner OF that doesn’t hit enough for the position he plays. I suppose he would be fine off the bench….but I wouldn’t want to see him play everyday.

    • paperlions - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM

      Unnecessary frugality? The offer they had on the table was bad business, not matching the insane offer by the Angels was just plain common sense.

      I acknowledge that they have been cheap at times in the past….but this would have just been a horrendous deal.

      • spudchukar - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:38 PM

        We have been down this road before, and we don’t agree so I will be brief. First, I will go to my grave believing the Cards could have signed Pujols for 225 mil for 10 years before last year’s Spring Training.

        Second, I refuse to acknowledge DeWitt’s arbitrary cap on salaries as anything but an excuse to pocket more cash. He even went so far as to say the added income from the WS victory would not be spent on players.

        Thirdly, I refuse to underestimate Albert Pujols. His poor first half was due to a mechanical flaw not aging eyes or bat speed. They do not suddenly get better come July. Sure it makes some sense to move to the AL where he can be rested more, but good luck trying to get him off the field anytime soon.

        I guess this isn’t going to be so brief after all. One thing that I know you agree with me on is Pujols’ under appreciated defense, baserunning, and playing time. His work ethic will challenge anyone’s. So the Angels are getting a lot more than the slugger most of their fans expect.

        Horrendous, probably not. Only if you limit your team’s salary. Dewitt has billions. One would have to believe a 10% return on those billions would not be unusual for someone so shrewd businesswise. 10% of 3 Billion is $300 mil. So the return on his net worth in one year would more than pay for the entire length of the most generous of offers. I find it difficult to condemn Pujols for taking the cash and splitting when one considers how little a little overpay would actually affect the Dewitt bottom line.

      • paperlions - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:44 PM

        Pujols was asking for $300M last off-season, what makes you think $225 would have been close enough to get it done? The only reason for him to do a deal without hitting FA would be if the deal was so sweet he didn’t care what else was out there……otherwise, he was going to see what other offers were available….and $22.5M/year would NOT have been enough to keep him off the market.

        Pujols is a great baseball player….but if you are going to error on one side or the other….I would prefer to not under estimate time….it is a much more powerful force than Pujols.

      • spudchukar - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:20 PM

        I wholeheartedly disagree.

  3. proudlycanadian - Dec 8, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Contrary to Heyman, the Blue Jays will not be interested.

  4. stex52 - Dec 8, 2011 at 10:53 PM

    I will keep saying that putting Berkman at first will ease some of the pain. He played a very solid 1st for the Astros (under recognized because of that big dude that St. Louis had at 1st). His batting skills have clearly not deteriorated, particularly if you put a good hitter behind him so he sees a lot of fastballs. So they probably still have someone at 1st who can give them a .950 or so OPS for the next couple of years. Invest some money in the outfield, SS, and a #3 pitcher and St. Louis is still a good team if healthy.

    This is painful, but probably the best for a mid-market team. I think you can keep Berkman as long as he can play because he is a homebody and Houston pretty much burned their bridges with him.

  5. cptnew1 - Dec 8, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    Lions, I agree that Ludwick and Kubel aren’t ideal, but what’s the alternative? I can’t envision any scenario bringing Fielder in, Beltran likewise. Or any MAJOR move for that matter. Rollins to me just isn’t a safe investment for what he’s going to cost. I anticipate a couple of minor moves to get another OF that can hold a place and then be part of a platoon when Craig comes back. (Brad Hawpe?) Another LH reliever. Not saying those are great moves, but in my view it’s going to go down that way.

    • paperlions - Dec 9, 2011 at 8:28 AM

      Where is Kubel going to play? He isn’t nearly the hitter Craig is…you want to sign a guy to play for one month in case Craig isn’t ready and then sit him on the bench?

      If Kubel could play SS or 2B, sure…but the Cardinals holes are still not in the OF….unless you want to replace Jay, who could probably use a platoon partner, but Kubel can’t play CF…in fact, he can barely play LF or RF.

    • paperlions - Dec 9, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      I’d rather see them give the fill-in job to Matt Carpenter, .400+ OBP throughout the minors, some pop, good plate discipline, okay defensively, can play 3B in a pinch.

      • spudchukar - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:01 PM

        Hey, total agreement. I watched him last Spring in Jupiter and he was impressive. I discussed this with Mathew Leach, (that being Carpenter as a SS, cause his build fits the SS description, long and lanky, but he pooh-poohed the idea.)

        Even if the Birds lasso Furcal, he is a better right-hand hitter, isn’t a Spring chicken, and a more frequent day off vs. tough righties might be prudent.

        Plus Descalso can certainly handle SS in a pinch and I am not sure with more playing time he might not prove to be more than adequate there.

  6. cptnew1 - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:31 PM

    I’m still not advocating Kubel, Ludwick or anyone. Albert leaving does not doom the franchise, (may turn out to be the opposite in the long run) however I look around the diamond and see way too many “can this works”. Can Greene and Descalso handle playing every day, hitting even at a league average? Can Allen Craig get back healthy and show the bat we all loved last year? Can Berkman sustain another full season? Can Freese finally show what he can do if he gets 500 AB’s? Can we get rid of zombie moths who apparently want Hollidays brains….
    One way or the other with the rotation that is coming back I still have faith in the club and this should be another fun season.

  7. foreverchipper10 - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:28 PM

    But……but…….isn’t he the reason they won the World Series?

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