The Seattle Mariners traded pitching prospect Maikel Cleto to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Brendan Ryan early Sunday afternoon. It's expected Ryan will takeover the duties at second base while highly-touted prospect Dustin Ackley continues his development in the minor leagues.
Ryan brings a career .259/.314/.344 batting line to Seattle. The light-hitting utility infielder is know for his glove and should bolster the Mariners' defense up the middle. Ryan spent his time at shortstop last year in St. Louis, appearing in 139 games.
In a conference all following the trade, Zduriencik praised Ryan's versatility while making it clear he expects the infielder to compete for a starting job right away. With Jose Lopez gone, traded to the Colorado Rockies, the Mariners are looking for a short-term, stop-gap solution at second base. It appears Chone Figgins will move back to third base after spending the 2010 season at second.
In acquiring Brendan Ryan we have added a player who is athletic, has played multiple positions, has been an everyday Major League shortstop, and is playoff tested.
Cleto is a high-upside prospect that spent his time in Class A High Desert during the 2010 season. He compiled a 4-9 record with a 6.13 ERA in 23 games.