Mariners Trade for Brendan Ryan
I am sure Dave will give a more detailed writeup, but in the interest of timeliness, the Mariners just traded RHP Maikel Cleto to the Cardinals in exchange for SS Brendan Ryan.
Ryan is a very good defensive shortstop who has been inconsistent offensively since earning the regular SS job with the Cardinals in 2009. He is coming off of a dismal 2010 which saw him put up a .256 wOBA. In 2009 he was a good deal better, posting a .324 mark. There is pretty good reason to think that neither 2009 or 2010 represent his true talent level. He had an unsustainably low BABIP in 2010 and an unsustainably high mark in ’09, despite little change in his underlying skills. Still just 29, Ryan has a good chance to become a more durable version of Jack Wilson. Good defensive SS (11.4 UZR/150 at the position over parts of four seasons) who will be comfortably below average offensively but might not be a total black hole at the plate. Ryan can either step in for Wilson if the team tries to jettison him to clear salary, or serve as a placeholder for Dustin Ackley and then slide over to SS when Wilson inevitably gets hurt.
In return, we say farewell to Maikel Cleto, the piece of the J.J. Putz trade that offered the most upside when the deal went down. Cleto came to the organization as a fireballer who did not have a good idea of how to harness his power arsenal, and two years later, that’s still pretty much all he is. He has struggled with visa issues, command, secondary stuff, and elbow soreness in his two years in the system, and he is a pretty solid bet to end up in the ‘pen.
Looks like a pretty nice low-impact move. Cleto is not a huge loss, and Ryan will not cost much as a 1st-year arbitration eligible player coming off a bad year.