UCB Roundtable Question March 5th

Posted by JE Powell

The February UCB Roundtable

Even though this is the February Monthly Project, due to the amount of participants, the questions have spilled over into March and on the 5th I proposed the following question to my fellow United Cardinal Bloggers:

With Molina now signed for an extra 5 years, do you think that either
Bryan Anderson or Tony Cruz could be used as trade chips at some point
this season? Or do the Cards hang on to them as backups and start
looking down the road for Molina’s eventual replacement?

Anderson will need to prove something if he’s going to be traded, no value there at all right now.

Cruz may be in AAA this year just to get some every day work.  Keep in mind, Cruz plays multiple positions, so he’s not “blocked”.  Anderson has very little future in StL, unless he can make it as a bench player.

 My prediction: 2012 sees Anderson as the backup, Cruz in AAA.  2013 sees Cruz in StL and Anderson elsewhere.
Bill Ivie
I-70 Baseball
Most likely Bill has it right on the nose.  I don’t see either of them going anywhere (save Memphis) anytime soon, but Cruz does seem to be the one with the inside track on a long-term gig with the Birds.


That said, if Cruz shows he has more trade value and Anderson can be a solid backup, it’s possible that their roles could be reversed.  Matheny has been in Anderson’s corner and may want him to stick around and learn under Molina.
Daniel Shoptaw
C70 At the Bat
Definitely believe either Tony Cruz or Bryan Anderson (or both) will be
useful trade chips. Either might be especially attractive to an American
League team because of the DH.
Mark Tomasik
Retro Simba
Funny you asked, I just wrote a piece on that for i70 last week (am I learning the art of shameless self-promotion yet?)

I don’t think Cruz or Anderson would bring too much to the trade table personally. If Molina goes down for a significant amount of time, you can bet Mo is on the phone bringing someone in to start at catcher for the Cards.

Also, these guys will be 31 when Molina’s deal expires, don’t expect them to hang around that long and wait for a starting spot.

I think the Cardinals would be wise to use of their many high draft picks this year on a catcher or two and start grooming Yadi’s replacement, because I don’t believe he’s currently in the system. If they are unsuccessful at that venture, they will have to go out and sign a Free Agent.

Chris Mallonee
I-70 Baseball
Not a lot I can add to this one. Bill and Daniel both hit the nail on the head. Tony Cruz as backup is the most likely scenario for now, but I have my doubts about Anderson as well. Only time will tell with either.

As far as waiting for Yadi’s eventual replacement, I don’t think either Cruz or Anderson will be the one. We’re talking as many as 8 years before it would be a full-time job. Most likely, Cruz will wind up included in a package swap over the next season or two. In turn, if Anderson doesn’t develop they would likely sign a FA backup while they wait on other talent (somewhere in the future and with ample time) to develop.
Corey Noles
Not a lot I can add to this one. Bill and Daniel both hit the nail on the head. Tony Cruz as backup is the most likely scenario for now, but I have my doubts about Anderson as well. Only time will tell with either.

As far as waiting for Yadi’s eventual replacement, I don’t think either Cruz or Anderson will be the one. We’re talking as many as 8 years before it would be a full-time job. Most likely, Cruz will wind up included in a package swap over the next season or two. In turn, if Anderson doesn’t develop they would likely sign a FA backup while they wait on other talent (somewhere in the future and with ample time) to develop.
Daniel Solzman
Redbird Rants
redbirdrants.com
Considering that Cruz has a lot of quality time in the system already and some useful experience at the major league level, I think he’s pretty solid as the backup this season.  Even if Molina gets injured, the Cardinals would be hard pressed to find a better option, because Cruz knows the staff and seems to have a good rapport with the pitchers.  He also managed a reasonable 0.2 WAR in just 72 plate appearances while playing 5 different positions in 2011.  In baseball terms, he’s incredibly cheap for a good backup catcher, so he is worth keeping around another full year at least.  I wouldn’t have an issue with him taking the plate every 5th game to be Westbrook’s personal catcher this season.

That said, a really good year by Anderson could be enough to give someone, somewhere the idea that he’s worth acquiring as cheap insurance.  If the Cardinals are borderline on making a run or not around the trade deadline, Anderson’s name would make sense as a throw-in to finish off a deal.  Some organizations really believe that you can never have too much depth at catcher.  Some AL teams may simply be looking for an inexpensive C/DH combo guy. When you think in terms of guys the Cardinals would/should be willing to move, I think Anderson makes more sense than Cruz right now.

Dennis 
Pitchers Hit Eighth
I also don’t see either one of them as trade chips. If they are traded for some reason it will be as part of a package where they are the afterthought. It’s a toss-up as to who wins the back-up role and assuming Molina is healthy we’re talking 20 games. I don’t see how anyone proves much worth in 20 games. So in a way, if the starter in AAA is productive he may have more value because he demonstrated the ability to play daily.
Chris Carelli
Redbird Rants
Tony Cruz will be in Memphis since Koyie Hill is around. Keep Cruz because he is more versatile. I see Anderson as trade bait as he doesn’t really fit.
Miranda Remaklus
Aaron Miles’ Fastball
 My thanks to everyone who participated in my question for the Roundtable.Your input has been greatly appreciated.
-14- 
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About stlfearthered

Life long, die hard Cardinals fan. The Cards are a family tradition.

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