Cheap Seats

Ryan shipped out to Seattle

It looked like Minnesota was making the strongest play for Cardinals infielder Brendan Ryan.

But in the end the slick fielding shortstop was exiled to the Mariners.

Ryan, who will have a chance to compete for Seattle's starting second base job in addition to serving as insurance for oft injured former Cardinals farmhand Jack Wilson, was swapped for Mikel Cleto.

It doesn't seem like much of a return.

The right-handed Cleto was 4-9 in 2010 with a 6.16 ERA for the Class A High Desert club. Only 21, he came to the Mariners organization in the J.J. Putz trade with the Mets. He's 6-foot-3 and weighs 218 pounds. Cleto can bring the fastball at up to 95 miles an hour. But it hasn't translated into effectiveness. He's got a 5.17 ERA in four seasons of minor league play.

This move does not appear to make the 2011 Cardinals a better club... Two thumbs down.