Don’t expect much news to happen this weekend in the baseball world. Something earth-shattering could develop but it seems unlikely at this point.
Oct 21, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) tosses the ball to second base in the 8th inning during game six of the 2012 NLCS against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. The Giants won 6-1. Image Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
This week, the Cardinals signed J.R. Towles to a minor league contract. In 52 games for the Minnesota Twins AAA affiliate, Towles had a batting line of .214/.280/.315.
Towles joins catcher Rob Johnson in recieving a minor league contract. I expect that both will be in Memphis, either as a starter or a back-up. I fully expect that Tony Cruz will serve as the backup catcher to Yadier Molina. Anyone but Cruz would be a surprise at this point.
Derrick Goold writes that the market for short stops is getting smaller by the minute yesterday. Goold writes:
"They’ve checked on a variety of shortstops via trade, from Asdrubal Cabrera to Jed Lowrie, and they entered into discussions with veteran second baseman Marco Scutaro in case he went for a shorter-term deal."
Nothing really developed with any of the three infielders. The Cabrera talk was loud on Twitter, so much that there was talk that Joe Kelly might have been traded.
We do know that one way or the other, Rafael Furcal has a contract that expires at the end of the 2013 season. What we do not know is who is the heir apparent at short stop. There are a number of candidates that could replace Furcal: Pete Kozma, Greg Garcia, Ryan Jackson, and Jake Lemmerman. But, as Derrick writes, “not one is the surefire heir apparent to Furcal when his contract ends at the end of the 2013 season.” It is not the case as Kolten Wong or Oscar Taveras are for second base and outfield, respectively.
Goold provided his rankings of short stops in the organization and notes that the depth at short is nowhere close to what there is with pitching:
"Pete KozmaRyan JacksonGreg GarciaAlex MejiaJake LemmermanMatt WilliamsKenny Peoples-WallsRonny Gil"
Unless the Cardinals make a move next season, I full expect that the starting short stop in 2014 will come from the minor leagues.