When the Cardinals shipped Brendan Ryan off to the Mariners in December, we heard rumblings that the gifted gloveman had fallen out of favor with some of his teammates. Now we have some of the details.
According to Gerry Spratt of the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin said during an appearance on KFNS 590 in St. Louis earlier today that Ryan was repeatedly late for buses and practices with the club last season.
“If you’re tardy once, don’t be tardy again,” Franklin said. “But it just kept happening. Veteran guys, we see a two-or-three-year guy do that, that doesn’t sit well, it just doesn’t. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be done.”
The closer said the Cardinals liked Ryan just fine, but that he wouldn’t necessarily be missed in St. Louis.
“Yeah, sure. All right. I’ll miss giving him a hard time.”
The Cardinals may have overlooked those incidents if Ryan remained productive with the bat, but he finished last season with a .223/.279/.294 batting line and a feeble .573 OPS. Only Cesar Izturis had a lower OPS among players with at least 450 plate appearances last season.
Ryan is projected to open the 2011 season as the starting second baseman in Seattle, but he’ll likely move into a timeshare with Jack Wilson at shortstop once top prospect Dustin Ackley is deemed ready for the big leagues.
The Mariners are in the midst of reconstructing their roster, a process which most recently resulted in the trade of first baseman/DH Edwin Encarnación to the Yankees, per a report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan. While the teams have yet to publicly confirm the deal, the Mariners are expected to receive pitching prospect Juan Then and will likely eat a significant portion of Encarnación’s salary as well.
Encarnación is a sizable get for the Yankees, who could benefit from the veteran’s power and consistency in their ongoing drive toward the postseason. The 36-year-old infielder missed some time with a bout of lower back tightness, dental issues, and soreness in his left hand, but has still maintained a decent .241/.356/.531 batting line with an AL-best 21 home runs, an .888 OPS, and 1.7 fWAR through his first 289 plate appearances of the year. Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, Encarnación has another $11-12 million left on his contract in 2019, with a $20 million option for the 2020 season and a $5 million buyout.
Then, 19, was acquired by the Yankees in a three-person trade with the Mariners during the 2017 offseason. The right-hander currently ranks no. 27 in the Yankees’ system and made his last pro ball appearance for New York’s rookie-level affiliate in 2018, pitching to a 2.70 ERA, 2.0 BB/9, and 7.6 SO/9 across 50 innings. It’s not clear if any other players are involved in the trade, though USA Today’s Bob Nightengale notes that no other prospects are thought to be included in the package for Encarnación.