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Cardinals sign catcher Koyie Hill to minor-league contract

Jan 10, 2012, 8:20 PM EDT

Koyie Hill Getty Getty Images

Koyie Hill was non-tendered by the Cubs in December after batting .194 with two homers and .545 OPS over 153 plate appearances in 2011, but Jon Paul Morosi of reports that the has latched on with the division-rival Cardinals on a minor-league deal.

Hill, who turns 33 in March, has a .211/.275/.298 batting line over 927 plate appearances in the majors. He has thrown out 28 percent of attempted basestealers.

Gerald Laird returned to the Tigers this offseason on a one-year, $1 million contract, so Hill gives the Cardinals one more option as a potential backup for Yadier Molina. Tony Cruz and Bryan Anderson are also expected to be in the mix.

  1. okwhitefalcon - Jan 10, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    This can’t be more than a “spring training competition inducing” signing can it?

    I can’t believe it’s any move considered as a potential contingency plan to Yadier Molina’s pending free agency or possible departure via trade if the Cardinals aren’t contending.

  2. asianboy212 - Jan 10, 2012 at 8:55 PM

    He sucks

    • okwhitefalcon - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:06 PM

      Indeed he does, and the Cardinals have zero organizational depth at the position if anything happens to Molina during the season or they choose to let him walk at years end.

    • 78mu - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:07 PM

      With Theriot gone the team is short one ex-Cub. The Cardinals have to be favored to repeat after this news, right? Right? Or is this just Mo’s way to get the fans to forget about losing Albert?

  3. brockohol - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    they think both Anderson and Cruz are future starters and want them to get everyday work in minors.

    I don’t know that I would worry about yadier getting traded. even if the cards somehow don’t win the central and dont get into the playoffs, they will be in it till the end.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:17 PM

      I wasn’t aware they had such strong feelings about Cruz or Anderson, I was under the impression both were considered marginal prospects with little possibilty of any major future contributions beyond stop gap solutions.

      I’m not “worried” about Molina getting traded per se, I’m more concerned his situation will not be addressed before he hits the open market.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        Mozeliak’s pretty damned good at extending his guys. I wouldn’t be concerned yet.

    • paperlions - Jan 10, 2012 at 9:21 PM

      I think Anderson and Cruz are both solid backups with outside chances to be low-end starters. I think signing Hill is just for organizational depth…not for the big club, but for the minors since Cruz or Anderson should be Molina’s backup this year.

  4. cintiphil - Jan 11, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    There seems to be no reason to make this deal, because he will probably never catch in the bigs again, unless others in front of him break bones. I don’t see the sense of this at all.

    • paperlions - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      Signing guys like this make a ton of sense, it ensures that you have a catcher where you need one in the system and allows teams to manage actual prospects without regard for roster needs….these types of organizational guys give you the necessary flexibility to maximize benefit for the actual prospects. It is the same reason that teams sign crappy players for the 24th/25th roster spots rather than promote prospects that would benefit more by playing every day in the minors than by sitting on a ML bench.

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