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Giants trying to deal former Cardinals IF Theriot

Word out of San Francisco is that the Giants are trying to trade former Cardinals infielder Ryan Theriot whom they signed over the off-season.

I said it before and I will say it again. Ryan Theriot isn't a starting major league shortstop. But he might make a pretty nice utility player -- and he would certainly be a valuable right handed bat off the bench.

Theriot could play second regularly, shortstop in a pinch and he could be the lead-off man on days when Rafael Furcal doesn't play. He'd be a great guy to come off the bench to pinch hit late in games when the Birds need to get a man on base. And he is also capable of pinch running or even stealing a base when needed.

He signed a pretty cheap contract -- $1.5 million, or about half of what the Cardinals paid Theriot last season -- and it might make a lot of sense for St. Louis, with its surplus of bullpenners, to swap an extra arm for him.

If the Cardinals are really trying to deal Kyle McClellan, trading him to San Francisco for Theriot could save the team some payroll space if it eventually wants to make a run at Roy Oswalt for the starting rotation.

The Cardinals claimed that Theriot was a great guy in the locker room. So I'm puzzled about why they didn't try to keep him as a reserve after the 2011 season.

But the bottom line is that I'm not really excited about Alex Cora or Eugenio Velez as the last guy on the roster. I would rather have Theriot who can hit for a better batting average than both of those guys put together.