Mariners Insider

Mariners acquire shortstop Brendan Ryan from Cardinals

Post by Ryan Divish on Dec. 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm with 13 Comments »
December 12, 2010 1:08 pm
AP photo

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik continues to make moves to improve the 25-man roster. On Sunday, he announced that the team has acquired shortstop Brendan Ryan from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for LHP Maikal Cleto.

“In acquiring Brendan Ryan we have added a player who is athletic, has played multiple positions, has been an everyday Major League shortstop, and is playoff tested,” said Zduriencik. “We look forward to Brendon’s contributions as well as him competing for a starting position.”

Ryan, 28, appeared in a career-high 139 games with the Cardinals last season, batting .223 (98×439) with 19 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs and 36 RBI. He led Major League shortstops with 3.43 assists per game and a .874 zone rating. He was also 5th in double plays turned and 10th in fielding percentage among ML shortstops.

His low offensive numbers were due to wrist surgery he had just a few weeks into spring training.

“I don’t want to make excuses, but it didn’t help,” Ryan said. “I came back around March 20 or 21st. I didn’t get as many at-bats in Spring Training  as I normally would. When the season started, I didn’t feel right. I just felt lost. And then I lost my confidence.”

Ryan was solid in 2009, hitting .292 (114×390) with 19 doubles, 7 triples, 3 home runs and 37 RBI in 129 games with the Cardinals. He ranked among the top among the top 5 in the Majors in fielding percentage by shortstops (.984) and 3rd among NL shortstops in batting average.

The wrist now feels “perfect” according to Ryan, and he hopes with a normal spring training, he can be the hitter he  once was.

“I’m a tablesetter than likes to get on base and steal bases,” he said. “I’m a gap to gap hitter. And I think I can get back to the way I was in 2009.”

Cleto, 21, went 4-9, 6.16 ERA (70 ER, 102.1 IP) in 23 games (21 GS) with High Desert in 2010. Following the season he pitched for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League, going 2-1, 7.91 in 6 starts. He was added to the Major League 40-man roster on Nov. 19. He was acquired by the Mariners in December 2008 as part of an 11-player trade that also brought Franklin Gutierrez and Jason Vargas to the Mariners.

“We gave up a very good arm to get this player,” Zduriencik said.

Zduriencik wouldn’t say that the trade for Ryan guarantees a move of Chone Figgins from second base back to third base. But did say, he and Eric Wedge and the field staff would hope to have discussions with players in the next week or two.

The addition of Ryan gives the Mariners plenty of depth and options. Ryan, who was a second baseman in college, would give the Mariners a solid player to start at second while top prospect Dustin Ackely gets more grooming Triple A Tacoma. Ryan also would be an upgrade defensively over Josh Wilson and could play shortstop when the oft-injured Jack Wilson misses games.

“It gives us versatility,” Zduriencik said. “He’s an athletic guy that can play multiple positions.”

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Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. wabubba67 says:

    Nice trade….a proven, still young major league SS for a prospect at the A level with suspect stats.

    However, I remember Cleto being an integral part of the Putz trade. I hope that this trade is not done for the short-term (Z trying to save his job), at the expense of the long-term health of the francshise. Fingers crossed.

  2. This works if it enables them to dump Jack Wilson.

  3. wabubba67 says:

    Ryan becomes the stop-gap 2B and insurance for Wilson. There is no way that the M’s will eat Wilson’s $5 million. If Ryan produces, he will have an opportunity to be the Mariners SS for a few years beginning either in 2011 with a Wilson injury or 2012 when Wilson is gone….until Nick Franklin is truly ready.

  4. Hopefully some contender will take Jack for the worst player on their roster to have ss insurance. It sounds like Ryan’s a better defensive ss at this point & would be wasted at 2b; he also doesn’t have the bat for 2b.

  5. nonstopjoe says:

    Looks like the Mariners will be loaded this year, headed for the play-offs. Sort of like last year.

  6. dave8557 says:

    Anyone who wears his uniform socks like that picture, has to be a good player.

  7. bigmike04 says:

    this would be good but it seem to me that their hoping to send Ackley to Triple A like he something more to prove down their, Memo to Jack & Eric play the young guys it not like M’s can get worst seeing as they lost 101 games in 2010, I think it time to play young guys and let them see if sink or swim in big leagues, sorry but to all M’s fans do you really think this team is going to compete in 2011 because it harder to imagin they will, until they learn to drive in run, get on base and hits it just look like another verison of 2010 team.

  8. stevenrey says:

    My impression of the trade… Zzzzzz

  9. Skysport says:

    Sure, the off-season has been mainly getting their A,B,C’s in place, and these kind of moves aren’t going to set off any rockets, but you gotta put your shoes on before you can run, and like the song says: “The best is yet to come”.

  10. Skysport says:

    Haters are losers.

  11. hawkfan777 says:

    I think this was a good move. But the team is still a few years away from competing. Especially if the owners are unwilling to increase payroll. Jack would need another 30 million to make this a very good team this year. That just isnt going to happen.

    I dont agree with Ackley playing at that level right away. You can mess with a young players mind if you move him up too quickly. Let him start in triple A and bring him up at the end of the summer to get some at bats in the big leagues. He is a long term investment. Too many young guys have been moved up too soon and end up failing.

  12. Ackley still needs time to learn 2B, give him ’til mid summer and if he’s ready bring him up.

    I like this move. It’s not a world changer, the M’s are still going to struggle to score runs, but Ryan provides a legit shortstop to substitute for Wilson when he is inevitably injured. It also lets Figgins move back to 3B, his best position.

    Again, not a blockbuster, but a great deal for the M’s.

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