Although they needed both offensive and defensive help, the Cardinals have remedied one of those problems by acquiring third baseman Pedro Feliz.
Feliz, known for his defensive prowess, was batting .221 with four home runs and 31 RBIs in 97 games for the Houston Astros, spending time at both first base and third, his natural position.
The St. Louis Cardinals acquired Feliz in exchange for minor league pitcher David Carpenter, who was 5-3 with a 2.36 ERA and 20 saves in 49 appearances for the Single-A Palm Beach.
The deal brings St. Louis, who ranks well below the league norm in most defensive metrics, some stability at the hot corner. Feliz has been one of the top defensive third basemen around as recently as 2007, when he led the league in Zone Runs and fielding percentage as a third baseman.
However, the deal does nothing to help a struggling offense that has been shut down by mediocre pitchers on several occasions this year.
The 35-year-old Feliz, a starter on the Philadelphia Phillies 2008 World Championship team, is a .252 career hitter with 139 homers and 589 runs batted in over 1,262 games with the Giants, Phillies, and Astros.
So, while this deal helps a team at the middle of the pack offensively, the Cardinals are going to need to make some moves of bigger impact if they hope to catch the powerful Cincinnati Reds.
To make room for Feliz, the Cardinals transferred backup catcher Jason LaRue to the 60-day DL, citing a concussion caused when Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto kicked LaRue in the head.
"After speaking with our medical staff and consulting with other experts, we have come to the conclusion to put Jason LaRue on the 60-day disabled list," Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said. "We believe this is in the best interest for Jason and his future. We will continue to monitor his progress and seek the best medical expertise concerning his situation. Part of his required rehabilitation, at this point, is rest."
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