The Cardinals trade for Ryan Theriot

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The Cardinals just acquired Ryan Theriot from Dodgers in exchange for righty Blake Hawksworth.

On one the one hand: sure.  The Cardinals need some help on the infield, as Brendan Ryan was just atrocious this year.

On  the other hand: Theriot ain’t exactly an All-Star himself, and his OPS was only marginally higher than Ryan’s this year: .606 to .573.

Theriot, once upon a time, had some decent on base skills, but he hasn’t flashed that for a while now.  He’s versatile in that he can play multiple positions.  At the same time, he was a non-tender candidate for the Dodgers and now the Cardinals are going to have to give him a raise from the $2.6 million he was making, no?  This couldn’t have waited a week?

Hawksworth will be 28 next season. A swingman with two seasons under his belt, the most recent of which was nothing special (4.98 ERA in 45 appearances with blah peripherals).

I guess the ultimate verdict on this trade will come when we see how many starts Theriot gets. If he’s a utility guy who is used all over the field, great, he has some value. If La Russa sees him as some sort of veteran savior and gives him 500+ plate appearances, well, I can’t see that going well for St. Louis.

Cubs fans ought to get a pretty big kick out of it though.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.