Dodgers trade INF Theriot to Cards for Hawksworth
ST. LOUIS: The St. Louis Cardinals got a new infielder in Ryan Theriot, while the Los Angeles Dodgers fortified their bullpen with Blake Hawksworth.
Dealing from surplus after signing free-agent infielder Juan Uribe, the Dodgers sent Theriot to St. Louis for Hawksworth on Tuesday.
The Cardinals completed another deal, too, signing freeagent pitcher Brian Tallet. Theriot and Tallet were teammates on the 2000 LSU team that won the NCAA title.
Theriot hit .270 with 29 RBIs last season with the Chicago Cubs and Dodgers. He has played both middle infield spots, but prefers shortstop.
"We felt this was a really good fit for us," Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said. "This is not necessarily the last move we're going to make between now and opening day, but if we did have to start today he would likely be our shortstop."
"I think every player as a competitor should go in there with that mindset," Theriot said on a conference call. "I don't want to be that utility player, I want to be out there playing. I can't help a team if I'm sitting on the bench."
Mozeliak said last year's starting shortstop, Brendan Ryan, would either be traded or would become a utility backup. Ryan has great range defensively but had a poor offensive season, batting .223 with a .279 on-base percentage.
"I'm not going to rule out anything right now," Mozeliak said. "It's way too soon to decide that fate." -Afp