Cheap Seats

The St. Louis Cardinals trade a low minors pitcher ... and the internet loses its mind

Its mind boggling to see all the crazy comments today about the St. Louis Cardinals trading a minor league pitcher most casual fans have never even heard of.

As soon as it was announced Thursday morning that the Redbirds dealt lefty Jayson Aquino, 23, to the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations, the internet burst into flames with accusations that this is another example of the cheap DeWitts lining their pockets.

Get a grip, people.

First, let me point out that the amount of money the Cardinals got for Aquino probably won’t add up to more than pocket change in the context of the Major League Baseball economy. It doesn’t have ANY impact on the team’s free agency or other player aquisition plans. And I’m sure we’re not talking about enough money to buy a new mansion anyway.

Second, the reason the Birds did this isn’t because they’re cheap. And it isn’t a sign they’re ready to bail on the season after an 0-3 start.

When the injury bug bit hard and often at the end of training camp, the Cardinals were forced to promote or otherwise add several players to the 40-man roster to make them eligible to play at the MLB level.

Jeremy Hazelbaker, Aledmys Diaz, Eric Fryer, Ruben Tejada...

The 40 man was full, so someone had to go and Aquino, who has been a Cardinal for less than six months, was the obvious choice.

He’s bounced around to several teams over the past year and the Birds though he was worth rolling the dice on. But now they don’t have the luxury of having an extra project around because they need the roster spot.

The front office didn’t sell Aquino to the highest bidder so Bill DeWitt Jr. could buy a new yacht. They sold him for cash considerations because no one was going to trade them a player of any consequence when they knew the young, raw lefty was likely to be waived in a few days.

If the other teams did line up to overpay for Aquino, it wouldn’t help solve the big picture problem because a high end player would have to go on the 40-man roster.

So... can we all take a deep breath and stop looking for things to freak out about?