St. Louis Gets Busy: Cardinals Sign Trever Miller, Trade For Khalil Greene

Peter FleischerSenior Writer IDecember 4, 2008

Talk about timing. One day after I cautioned Cardinals fans to be patient, claiming general manager John Mozeliak was poised to strike in the market, he made me look like a prophet.

The last 24 hours, he has been more active than the last month combined.

As expected, Johnny Mo finally made good on his intention to sign lefty reliever Trevor Miller. Miller was inked to a one-year deal worth up to two million at the most. He definitely fills a need for the Cardinals. He'll be much improved over Randy Flores and Ron Villone, and was a relatively cheap option.

The bigger splash was made when the Cardinals traded for San Diego Padres shortstop Khalil Greene. Greene, 29, is a flashy shortstop who has one of the strongest arms at the shortstop position in all of baseball. He also has a powerful stroke, which can lead to a lot of strikeouts and a poor OBP.

Take away a terrible 2008, and Greene is actually a decent bat that can provide some firepower from the middle infield spot. Although he hit a paltry .213 last year, Greene's 72 home runs from 2004-2007 ranked third among shortstops in the majors behind Miguel Tejada and Jimmy Rollins.

One thing Adam Kennedy and Caesar Izturis did not provide last year was pop, and Greene has it. There are definitely reasons to believe he's more likely to return to 2007 form, when he hit 27 HRs and drove in 97, than his 2008 form.

He'll be getting away from Petco Park, which is murder on offense, and working with Hal McRae should definitely shorten his swing and calm down his approach at the plate. Plus, Tony La Russa tends to put hitters in the best situations for them to succeed.

Caesar Izturis was brought in last season to play defense. Greene does that as well, and can drive in runs, too. This is an upgrade. With prospects David Freese and Brett Wallace able to take over for Troy Glaus after this year, they'll also have the chance to re-sign Greene for 2010 and beyond. The St. Louis fans should definitely take to his 110 percent approach.