St. Louis Cardinals: Evaluating the arbitration eligible players

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Oct 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz (48) is tagged out by Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero (47) during the sixth inning of game four of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Cruz

Oh Tony Cruz, how most Cardinals’ fans seem to loathe you and your weak bat. Cruz has been with the team 2011 and has been mildly inconsistent as the backup catcher since then. Last season, when the Cardinals lost Yadier Molina, the team made a pretty bold statement on the depth of the Catcher position in the organization and the team’s overall feelings on Cruz’s ability, when they signed AJ Pierzynski. 

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As much as I would love for the Cardinals’ to cut bait with Cruz here. There doesn’t seem to be many options out there for players who want to play behind Yadier Molina. Yes, ideally the team could find someone to rest Yadi a bit more, but his value to the team is too high when he’s behind the plate that finding someone else to provide the same or similar value off the bench seems crazy.

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I would love for the Cardinals to give Mike Ohlman a look in spring training and keep Cruz as the incumbent backup and let Ohlman outplay him. This would bring Cruz back on a one year deal, where I would assume the team either keeps him at the $775,000 level or bumps him up another $225,000 to an even $1 million.