MLB.com writer Brian McTaggart reported tonight that the Astros are closing in on a deal with veteran infielder Ronny Cedeno. The two sides have agreed on terms, and the deal is pending a physical. Cedeno was released by the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.
Ronny Cedeno appeared in 78 games for the New York Mets in 2012, playing shortstop, second and third base. He posted a .259/.332/.410 line with four home runs and 22 RBI. Cedeno has played 8 Major League seasons with the Cubs, Pirates, Mariners and Mets. At this point in his career, Cedeno has the ability to be an above average defender and should be expected to post between a .245-.255 batting average with an OBP around .300.
The Astros had hoped that Marwin Gonzalez or Tyler Greene could step into the starting shortstop role once Jed Lowrie was traded. Unfortunately, neither has really stood out and claimed the position. Greene has batted just .167 in his 51 plate appearances this spring. Greene does have more power potential than either Gonzalez or Cedeno, but it doesn’t appear that his power is worth the cost of a .270ish OBP. Gonzalez has a more respectable .250/.333/.350 line during the spring and is the better defender out of the group. Gonzalez is versatile enough to play short, second or third and is also a switch-hitter, which could help his cause.
The Astros’ General Manager, Jeff Luhnow, drafted Tyler Greene in the 1st round in 2005, while he was overseeing the Cardinals’ draft. Now if Luhnow can bring himself to cut ties with Greene, it would probably make the most sense to keep Cedeno and Marwin Gonzalez as his shortstop and utility player. One thing is for sure, the Astros have no room for all three of them on the 25-man roster, so another move will have to be made soon.