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Gotay swims with the Fishes

Lost in the excitement of Lance Berkman's signing over the weekend was the fact that Memphis farmhand Ruben Gotay was signed away by Florida.

Gotay, who couldn't crack the major league roster in 2010 despite leading Class AAA in walks, will provide depth for the Marlins at second and third.

The Cardinals passed over Gotay for other options even when David Freese was lost to injury and Skip Schumaker struggled with the bat and the glove. Gotay, a 27-year-old .255 hitter hasn't appeared in a major league game since he was with Atlanta in 2008.

Speaking about the Berkman subject...

I can't help but think the somewhat unusual signing for the Cardinals is a sign that manager Tony La Russa's influence with the front office has increased.

Over the past several years La Russa has publicly lobbied for guys like Manny Ramirez to add thump to the batting order while trying things like playing Troy Glaus in left field to get his bat into the order -- because he couldn't throw well enough to play third base.

La Russa obviously believes that corner outfield defense isn't near as important as offensive production. And after several years of not getting to do his own player shopping, it seems like the front office decided to give the skipper's way a try.