MLB.com’s Corey Brock passes along word of this minor transaction …
Guzman, 29, is a .259/.324/.418 career hitter in 930 plate appearances at the major league level. He’s limited defensively to the corner outfield spots and first base, and the Padres had too many players on their roster with that same profile. Jackson is a 25-year-old middle infielder with a good glove but weak bat. He hit .278/.352/.346 in 510 plate appearances this past summer for the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.
For much of the season Cardinals fans complained that the team never gave Triple-A shortstop Ryan Jackson a shot to replace Pete Kozma and now he’ll never get the chance.
He was claimed off waivers by the Astros, whose general manager Jeff Luhnow ran the Cardinals’ farm system when Jackson was drafted in the fifth round.
Jackson hardly projects as an impact player, but he’s considered a quality defensive shortstop and has hit .275 with a .714 OPS in 238 games at Triple-A. Last time the Astros claimed a Cardinals shortstop it was Tyler Greene and that didn’t go so well, but Jackson probably has a pretty good opportunity to win an Opening Day roster spot in Houston.
Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch speculates on a possible offseason trade:
With Carlos Martinez meriting a look-see as a starter — and [Trevor] Rosenthal wanting the same — it’s increasingly likely that general manager John Mozeliak shops Lance Lynn or Shelby Miller to simultaneously create an opening while addressing a core need at shortstop.
Pete Kozma served as the Cardinals’ primary shortstop in 2013 and posted a hideous .217/.275/.273 batting line in 143 games. Daniel Descalso also saw time at short this year in St. Louis, but he’s only marginally better on offense than Kozma and a significant downgrade defensively. The Cards have another internal option in 25-year-old former fifth-round pick Ryan Jackson, who spent the year at Triple-A Memphis, but the major league projections for him aren’t great.
With an abundance of legitimate MLB starters — think Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Joe Kelly, Miller, Lynn, Martinez and Rosenthal — and a ton of money coming off the books between Carlos Beltran, Jake Westbrook, Rafael Furcal and Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals are set up well to make a splash.
Lynn, 26, has a 3.82 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 9.1 K/9 in 412 1/3 major league innings. He will be arbitration-eligible for the first time next offseason. Miller, 23, owns a 2.94 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 through his first 187 major league innings. He won’t reach salary arbitration until 2016. They’re both excellent trade chips.
After saying over the weekend that his ailing right elbow wasn’t “getting better,” Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal was examined by team medical director Dr. George Paletta today. However, it appears that we’re going to have to wait for word about his status, as MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Furcal will get a second opinion on his elbow from Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday.
Furcal was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament last August, but he opted to go the rehab route rather than undergo Tommy John surgery. The Cardinals were upbeat about the veteran shortstop leading up to spring training, but he felt renewed discomfort in the early days of camp and was recently shut down from baseball activities. If it is determined that Tommy John surgery is required, Furcal would miss the entire season.
Ronny Cedeno, who joined the Cardinals this winter on a one-year, $1.15 million deal, currently projects to open the year as the starting shortstop. Pete Kozma and Ryan Jackson are among the other in-house alternatives.
Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal opted to rehab a torn ligament in his right elbow rather than undergo Tommy John surgery. So far, that decision has not worked out for anyone.
Furcal began experiencing renewed discomfort in his right elbow a couple of weeks ago in Cardinals camp and continues to feel pain whenever he tries to take another step in his spring workout program. This according to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“What do you want me to do?” Furcal said this weekend. “It’s not getting better. I wish I could do whatever I could to make it better, so I could play. It’s very disappointing. I tried to push it a little harder. We’d better back up a little bit because I feel more pain.”
The Cardinals will either have to start Ronny Cedeno at shortstop or figure out a way to bring in someone else. Pete Kozma and Ryan Jackson are the other uninspiring options in the St. Louis clubhouse.