The St. Louis Cardinals made some room at shortstop by trading Edmundo Sosa to the Philadelphia Phillies for relief pitcher JoJo Romero.
The St. Louis Cardinals cleaned out some obstructed pipes of the infield by dealing slick-fielding speedster shortstop Edmundo Sosa to the Philadelphia Phillies for left-handed relief pitcher JoJo Romero on Saturday, July 30. Paul DeJong was put on the active roster to take Sosa’s place, while Romero was assigned to Triple-A Memphis.
Sosa was struggling to find playing time at a crowded position. Tommy Edman has received the bulk of starts at shortstop, and the Cardinals can’t afford to give up on DeJong, to whom they have a major commitment in the form of a $9.167 million salary in 2023, a raise of nearly $3 million from this year.
Sosa had a breakout 2021 season, but he’s crashed back to earth this year, hitting a paltry .189 with no home runs in 122 at-bats. His most unique skill was probably his propensity to get hit by pitches, which, of course, always carries injury risk.
The Cardinals’ return, Romero, was a fourth-round pick of the Phillies in 2016. He has had his warts in the major leagues, with a career ERA of 7.89 in 21.2 innings pitched. However, he does possess what the Cardinals seem to covet most in their pitchers: a sinker. He’ll provide minor league depth in the case of an injury or ineffectiveness.
One player this Sosa trade could benefit is Delvin Perez, the Cardinals’ first-round pick in 2016 whom many dismissed as a bust long ago. To his credit, Perez, recently promoted to Memphis, has hit .288 in Triple-A, albeit in a small sample size of 59 at-bats.
Perez has found a smidge of power since the canceled 2020 minor league season. Through 978 at-bats from 2016 to 2019, Perez managed two home runs in Rookie ball through Single-A. In 610 at-bats in Double-A and Triple-A, Perez has swatted a more respectable nine homers. If he can build on these improvements, the Sosa trade could give him a spot to earn playing time with the Cardinals.
This trade was all about dealing a player who was unnecessary and somewhat redundant with the similar skill set of Edman. Maybe the Cardinals can unlock something in Romero and have him be a serviceable major league arm, but personally, I’m more interested in how this trade affects the future of Perez.