Astros may have interest in Ryan Theriot if he’s non-tendered

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MLB Network’s Jon Heyman hears that the Astros may have interest in infielder Ryan Theriot if he’s non-tendered by the Cardinals.

The non-tender part sounds like a pretty good bet to happen, as the Cardinals have already pegged Daniel Descalso as their starting second baseman for next season and are “making progress” in bringing back shortstop Rafael Furcal.

Theriot earned $3.3 million this past season while batting .271/.321/.342 with one home run, 47 RBI, four stolen bases and a .662 OPS over 483 plate appearances. The 32-year-old made 17 errors in 91 games at shortstop in 2011 and advanced defensive metrics haven’t been kind to him over the past two seasons, so he may be better suited as a second baseman moving forward.

With Jose Altuve already projected as the Astros’ second baseman for 2012, it will be interesting to see whether new GM (and former Cardinals VP of scouting and player development) Jeff Luhnow views Theriot as a feasible replacement for Clint Barmes.

The Mariners and Cardinals make a minor trade

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The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.

O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.

Topps has eliminated Chief Wahoo from both new and throwback card designs

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I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.

Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.

They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.

As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.

Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.