Good Morning Cardinal Nation. Here’s what I have for you this morning:
CEDENO NOTES: Ronny Cedeno signed a one-year contract worth $1.15 million (with another $850,000 in performance incentives) with the Cardinals on Monday. Here’s a little bit of what John Mozeliak had to say from Rick Hummel’s column this morning:
“We just needed to have some insurance,” said Mozleliak, “although clearly Kozma played very well last year…He’s only 30. I still think he has a lot to offer.”
“He’s certainly one of those guys who, when you first watch him, you can see he has athleticism and all those intangibles of a middle infielder — flashy and quick,” said Mozeliak. “From an everyday standpoint, he hasn’t been able to hit consistently.”
I do think the signing is bit odd. I think of Rafael Furcal, Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma, Ryan Jackson, Matt Carpenter, and Ronny Cedeno, Cedeno has the least to offer. As Mozeliak says, he hasn’t been able to hit consistently, and based on the time (which, to be fair, is not all that much) that I have seen him play, I don’t see him as that strong defensively either. But they signed him at a low cost, so I suppose we could look at this as one of those “low risk, high reward” signings until we see what he has to produce.
PUJOLS NOT CLEARED TO PLAY WBC: Albert Pujols, who underwent minor surgery on his right knee at the end of last season, was not cleared to participate in this year’s World Baseball Classic, which begins in just over a month. Though he wanted to play, the liability due to his surgery was too big to be cleared by Major League Baseball as well as the players union. In 2012, Pujols hit .285 with 30 HRs and 105 RBIs.
MIAMI PED REPORT: As you have probably heard, there are a lot of rumblings coming from Miami where several MLB players are now being linked to a performance enhancing drug center, similar to BALCO. As far as I know, no Cardinals are on the list, but guys like Alex Rodriguez, Gio Gonzalez, and Melky Cabrera have all been linked.